The White House released satellite images of arms trade between North Korea and Russia, calling for an immediate halt. It was also made clear that measures at the UN Security Council level would be sought. Reporter Park Hyung-joo reports.
The White House released satellite images on the 20th that captured the situation in which North Korea was delivering weapons to the Wagner Group, a private Russian mercenary company.
White House National Security Council (NSC) Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said at a briefing that day that Russia would continue to support Russia’s military operations against Ukraine by providing arms and ammunition to Wagner, foreshadowing additional sanctions against Wagner for aiding Russia’s war in Ukraine. He said he would also comment on North Korea.
[녹취: 커비 조정관] “I also want to discuss a little bit North Korea’s ongoing support for Russia’s military operations against Ukraine by providing arms and ammunition to Wagner, in part because of our sanctions and export controls, Russia is searching for arms from foreign countries including through Wagner. In recent weeks, We have seen North Korean officials falsely deny they have provided arms to Wagner. As we have said publicly North Korea delivered infantry rocket and missiles into Russia for use by Bogner toward the end of last year. So today we are releasing some imagery of this initial delivery.”
“In recent weeks we have seen North Korean officials falsely deny that they provided weapons to Wagner,” Kirby said.
“However, as we have said publicly, North Korea delivered infantry rockets and missiles to Russia for Wagner’s use at the end of last year,” he said, presenting satellite images that captured the situation.
Previously, the White House announced on December 22 last year that North Korea had completed the delivery of the first weapon for use by the Wagner Group, and that the Wagner Group had paid for the weapons to North Korea.
Regarding this, both North Korea and Wagner’s side have denied it, saying it is not true.
Then, the White House released a satellite image of the arms transfer situation and a specific date this time.
The satellite images released by the White House are two black-and-white photos of a train leaving Russia and arriving in North Korea on November 18, respectively.
[녹취: 커비 조정관] “This imagery shows that on November 18th five Russian rail cars traveled from Russia to North Korea. And the next day November 19th North Korea loaded those rail cars with shipping containers, and the train returned to Russia. While we assess that the amount of material delivered to Wagner has not changed battlefield dynamics in Ukraine, we do expect that it will continue to receive North Korean weapons systems. We obviously condemn North Korea’s actions and we urge North Korea to cease these deliveries to Wagner immediately.”
“We estimate that the amount of material delivered to the Wagner group has not changed the dynamics of the battlefield in Ukraine,” he said.
“We do, however, expect Wagner to continue receiving North Korean weapons systems,” said Kirby.
It was also made clear that measures would be sought at the UN Security Council level in relation to these arms trades.
[녹취: 커비 조정관] “As we have stated previously the arms transfers from the DPRK are in direct violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. So today we shared information on these violations with the Security Council’s DPRK sanctions committee panel of experts. we will continue to raise these violations at the Security Council alongside our allies and partners.
“We have been saying that arms transfers from North Korea are a direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” said Coordinator Kirby.
“We will continue to raise these violations in the Security Council, together with our allies and partners,” he said.
When asked about specific sanctions, he said he had “nothing to announce today” and would “see how the discussion develops.”
“We will not rule out the possibility of additional sanctions if deemed appropriate within the United Nations,” he added.
Kirby’s coordinator announced that he would designate Wagner as a “serious transnational criminal organization” and would impose additional sanctions next week.
This is VOA News Park Hyeong-joo.