The battle lines were drawn a while ago. The whole world took sides, choosing either Russia or Ukraine. The US sided with Ukraine since they have been an ally. And many other countries followed suit, if for no other reason than to be on the “right” side. Russia was being a bully, and Ukraine was innocent.
Now, we’re learning who has been backing Russia – the country that is focused on world domination more than anything else. And the war crimes they’ve committed are absolutely heinous.
North Korea has decided it wants to be a part of Russia’s world domination, though they were hoping to be a silent partner. I can’t say that I’m surprised that Kim Jong-Un would take the side of the bully considering that he’s been bullying his neighbors for years.
The US has uncovered information that it’s likely that North Korea has been supplying Russia with a “significant” number of artillery shells.
John Kirby, the White House’s National Security Council spokesman shared the news, saying that North Korea has tried to “make it appear as though they’re being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa.”
This shows that Kim isn’t the big, bad leader that he claims to be. He’s trying to be sneaky about it – and likely because he doesn’t want to deal with the fallout from the West when it’s discovered that he’s been helping Russia.
Kirby didn’t offer an estimate on just how much ammunition was sent over. However, he did say that it wasn’t at such a quantity that he believes it will change much within the war.
US officials believe that Russia’s arsenals are being depleted. Between the Western sanctions and the amount of time the war has waged on, Russia cannot produce new weapons. As such, they’re relying on what they can get from other countries – including drones from Iran and artillery from North Korea.
Military Times reported that Kirby talked about Putin losing ground, soldiers, and momentum. “It’s a sign both of the isolation that he continues to feel economically. His own defense-industrial base can’t keep up with the pace at which he is using armaments in Ukraine.”
The White House had already warned that Russia may look to North Korea for new arms. However, in September, Pyongyang was quick to deny that they had or would provide arms to North Korea. Now, we know that their denials were just a way to hide the truth from us.
Will North Korea be held accountable for supplying the arms? That depends. The US will be monitoring to see if the weapons were received and discuss the various accountability measures that should be put into place.
The White House has also warned that Russia may be leaning on some of its allies for other weapons to move forward with the war – and that includes short-range missiles from Iran. As of right now, that has yet to happen.
Bruce Klingner is a former CIA Korea deputy division chief who is now with the Heritage Foundation. He has explained that North Korea would likely provide Russia with 122 and 152mm shells as well as rounds for rocket launchers. These would be compatible with Russian systems, and they’d likely offer quite a bit since North Korea is currently upgrading to newer systems.
The real question as Klingner presents is “If it’s older ammo, then that also raises the idea of quality.”
As long as there are countries willing to continue to help Russia, the war may go on through the winter. And that also leads us to wonder how much more Biden will end up sending to Ukraine.