Russia Gets 5 Million Artillery Shells From North Korea

( – The Defense Minister of South Korea, Shin Won-sik, said on Friday, June 14 that he believes North Korea sent containers holding nearly 5 million artillery shells to Russia to aid in their ongoing war in Ukraine.

Won-sik stated that at least 10,000 containers likely full of artillery shells were spotted leaving North Korea enroute to Russia. In exchange for the artillery shells, Russia is allegedly giving the isolated nation oil and technology that will improve their national defense capabilities, including satellite technology.

Some believe that artillery shells produced by North Korea are “substandard” compared to those produced by western nations, but at that quantity, they can still do a significant amount of damage. Comparatively, the United States has only provided 300,000 artillery shells to Ukraine, many of which were produced during the height of the Cold War and kept in reserve for Israel. The US set a goal of manufacturing 100,000 artillery shells per month by 2025 but is so far struggling to reach that quota.

Several intelligence agencies believe that Russia is scaling up their efforts in the war to prepare for a “major offensive action” against Ukraine before the end of summer. One of Russia’s strategies in this war has been to heavily fire artillery to protect units as they advance further into Ukrainian territory.

Western nations have shared concerns about the growing closeness between North Korea and Russia. The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, traveled to Russia in 2019 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Though Putin has scaled back his travel outside of Russia since the war began, he plans to visit North Korea in mid-June to meet with Kim for his first visit to the country in over two decades. Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and their Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Borisov, will also be joining Putin on the trip to North Korea. Kim is expected to personally greet the envoy at their airport, highlighting the significance of their visit.

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