The US has accused North Korea of supplying ballistic missiles and launchers to Russia, which has been using them to attack Ukraine in violation of UN sanctions.
The US says this move shows the desperation and isolation of Russia, and the danger and defiance of North Korea. The US also says this move has implications for the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, which have been stalled for months.
What are the details of the accusation?
The US says it has evidence that North Korea sold rockets and artillery shells to the Russian mercenary group Wagner, which has been fighting alongside the Russian forces in Ukraine. The US says the shipment was completed in December 2023, and that Wagner paid North Korea for the equipment. The US says the weapons were used in several devastating aerial attacks against Ukrainian targets, including the capital Kyiv and the western city of Lviv.
The US says this transaction violated multiple UN Security Council resolutions, which prohibit North Korea from exporting or importing any arms or related material, and impose an arms embargo on all parties involved in the Ukraine conflict. The US says this transaction also violated the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which restricts the transfer of missiles and related technology capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
The US says this transaction also revealed that Russia was in the process of acquiring short-range ballistic missiles from Iran, another country under UN sanctions for its nuclear activities. The US says this deal was actively advancing, and that it was concerned about the potential use of these missiles by Russia or its proxies in the region.
What are the implications for the Iran nuclear negotiations?
The US says this transaction has implications for the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, which have been stalled for months. The US says this transaction shows that Iran is not serious about complying with its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, which limits its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
The US says this transaction also shows that Iran is willing to cooperate with other rogue states and actors, such as North Korea and Russia, to undermine the global nonproliferation regime and to threaten the security and stability of the region and the world.
The US says this transaction calls for a stronger and more comprehensive approach to address the Iranian nuclear issue, and to prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons. The US says it remains committed to diplomacy and dialogue with Iran, but that it will not accept any partial or temporary solutions that would allow Iran to retain or advance its nuclear capabilities.
The US says it will also continue to work with its allies and partners, such as the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia, to coordinate and harmonize their positions and actions on the Iranian nuclear issue.