Russia seeks weapons from North Korea, Washington says

Russia sought to acquire weapons from North Korea between late 2022 and early this year, according to the White House. In a press briefing on Thursday, March 30, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby explained that a Slovak national, Achot Mkrtychev, had had contacts with officials from both countries confirming Russia’s willingness to matter.

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Acting as an intermediary, he sought to obtain ” around twenty “ of different types of arms and ammunition from the dictatorship, in particular in exchange for shipments of food and raw materials supplied by Russia.

Aged 56, born in Azerbaijan, Achot Mkrtychev was placed on US Treasury Sanctions List. He reportedly got the go-ahead from both parties on the details of the deal. He would have tried, with Russian officials, to identify commercial planes likely to facilitate this barter between the two countries. We do not know why this agreement has not materialized to date.

Shells and rockets

According to John Kirby, a Russian delegation intends to visit Pyongyang soon. The White House stresses that there is no direct relationship between this attempt to acquire weapons and the delivery by North Korea of ​​millions of pieces of shells and rockets to Russia, revealed by Washington in early September 2022. In November, John Kirby clarified that North Korea was trying to disguise this delivery, pretending that the final destination was in the Middle East or Africa.

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“Russia has lost more than 9,000 pieces of heavy military equipment since the start of the war and, thanks in part to multilateral sanctions and export controls, Putin has become increasingly desperate to replace them. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. Channels like this individual’s arms deal show that Putin is turning to suppliers of last resort, like Iran and North Korea. »

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