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North Korea denies helping Russia replenish its weapon stocks

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North Korea denies helping Russia replenish its weapon stocks

“We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them,” Pyongyang says, warning the US against spreading “rumour of arms dealings.” “We warn the US to stop making reckless remarks,” North Korea says while emphasising it maintains the right to export military equipment. (AP Archive) North Korea has denied it was providing arms to Russia, state media said, weeks after the United States said Moscow was turning to Pyongyang to replenish its stocks depleted by the conflict in Ukraine.

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“We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them,” an official at the Defence Ministry's General Bureau of Equipment said in a statement on Thursday carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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The statement comes after the White House said earlier in September that Russia was buying artillery shells and rockets from North Korea to support its offensive in Ukraine.

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National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the United States believed purchases “could include literally millions of rounds, rockets and artillery shells.”

However, citing declassified US intelligence, he stressed at the time that the purchases were not yet completed and that there was no indication the weapons were being used in Ukraine.

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READ MORE:  US: Russia to buy millions of rockets, artillery shells from North Korea

'Rumour of arms dealings'

Moscow-ally Pyongyang hit out at the United States in the statement, saying Washington and “other hostile forces” were “spreading a 'rumour of arms dealings' between the DPRK and Russia,” using the official acronym for North Korea

“We warn the US to stop making reckless remarks,” it said while emphasising North Korea maintains the right to export military equipment

The White House indicated that the purchase of artillery ammunition from the isolated North Korean government, as well as a deal to buy military drones from Iran, showed Russia was in dire straits after months of Western economic and technological sanctions aimed at crippling its assault machine

READ MORE: Russia facing problems with Iran-made drones – US

Source: AFP