The White House accused North Korea of shipping a “significant” amount of artillery shells to Russia in support of its invasion of Ukraine.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US believes North Korea “trying to make it appear as if they are being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa”.
He did not give a specific estimate of the amount of ammunition sent to him Russia.
Mr. Kirby said North Korea was “secretly supplying” ammunition to Russia, but “we are still monitoring this to determine if the shipments are actually received.”
He insisted the shipments “will not change the course of the war”, citing Western efforts to resupply the Ukrainian army.
The White House would not specify the shipping method or whether Western countries would attempt to block shipments to Russia.
It revealed the intelligence nearly two months after it first accused US intelligence officials of identifying the Russian Defense Ministry was in the process of buy millions of missiles and artillery shells from North Korea for its invasion Ukraine.
White House downplays importance
Despite disclosing information about secret shipments, the White House has sought to downplay its importance.
“We don’t believe they are in such a large number that they can change the direction of this war or change the dynamics in a tangible way east or south,” Mr. speak.
He said the shipments were a sign not only of Pyongyang’s willingness to assist Russia, but also of Moscow’s arms shortage, which is caused by Western sanctions and export controls.
North Korea accuses US of ‘contaminating’ its reputation
In September, North Korea said it had never supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia and had no plans to do so.
It continues to warn the US to “shut up and eat money” and stop spreading rumors to “stain” the image of the country.