US Warns North Korea Would ‘Pay A Price’ For Any Arms Deal With Russia

The US has warned North Korea that it will “pay a price” if it signs a weapons deal with Russia, despite the fact that negotiations between the two countries are “advancing.”

If Pyongyang delivers weapons to Moscow for use in the Ukraine conflict, it will “not reflect well on North Korea, and they will pay a price in the international community,” White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said at a news briefing on Tuesday, September 5.

Sullivan did not specify the potential consequences for North Korea, which is already subject to UN and US sanctions for its weapons of mass destruction program.

“We have continued to convey privately as well as publicly to the North Koreans – and asked allies and partners to do the same – our view that they should abide by their publicly stated commitments that they’re not going to provide these weapons,” Sullivan said.

 

The US National Security Council reported on Monday that arms talks between Russia and North Korea are “actively advancing,” following Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu’s July visit to Pyongyang in an attempt to persuade it to sell howitzer ammo.

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expects “discussions to continue,” including “leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia,” according to Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson, but she did not specify when or where a potential meeting between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia might take place.

Sullivan also stated at the press conference on Tuesday that the talks between Russia and North Korea show that Western economic sanctions have succeeded in squeezing Moscow’s defense industrial base.

 

“We have also imposed specific targeted sanctions to try to disrupt any effort to use North Korea as a conduit or as a source for weapons going to Russia,” he said.

Since the war began, “we have not seen (North Korea) actively supply large amounts of munitions or other military capacity to Russia,’ he said, adding that it’s not clear “what has changed in their calculus.”

Sullivan said it was an “open question about how much material and what the quality of the material is that could be provided.” But, he added, “I think it says a lot that Russia is having to turn to a country like North Korea to seek to bolster its defense capacity, in a war that it expected would be over in a week.”

Kirby added that any potential new deals between Russia and North Korea could include “multiple types of munitions” and raw materials from North Korea. Russia has also received drones and artillery from Iran.

The US and its allies are also concerned that North Korea is seeking from Russia some technology that could advance its satellite and nuclear-powered submarine capabilities.

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