Arms negotiations between North Korea and Russia are “actively advancing,” the United States said Wednesday, citing new intelligence.
Washington is concerned about potential weapons deals from Pyongyang to supply the Kremlin’s struggling war in Ukraine, including significant quantities and multiple types of munitions, the White House said.
Following Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s recent trip to Pyongyang for discussions on these potential arms deals, President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged letters pledging to increase their cooperation, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
These letters “were more at the surface level,” Kirby said, but he added that these high level discussions may continue in the coming months.
The White House said a particular focus was artillery munitions, as Russia’s military fights to hold onto occupied land in the face of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
“It’s a gunfight and both sides are blazing away with artillery,” Kirby said.