Russia Used Ballistic Missiles, according to US National Security spokesman John Kirby, Russia employed short-range ballistic missiles from North Korea in its attacks on Ukraine.
Russia Used Ballistic Missiles From North Korea to Attack Ukraine
The White House asserted on Thursday that Russia recently employed short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) obtained from North Korea to execute several strikes against Ukraine.
According to National Security spokesman John Kirby, the US will raise the development with the United Nations Security Council.
Kirby termed North Korea’s arms shipment to Russia a “significant and concerning escalation” and said the US would impose more penalties on anybody who helped facilitate the arms deals.
Both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied any arms agreements but pledged last year to strengthen military ties.
The firing of the missiles attracted censure from both the United Kingdom and South Korea, which revealed in November that North Korea may have sold SRBMs to Russia as part of a bigger arms sale that included anti-tank and anti-air missiles, artillery and mortar shells, and rifles.
“Our information indicates that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recently provided Russia with ballistic missile launchers and several ballistic missiles,” Kirby said, using North Korea’s official name.
“Russian forces launched at least one of these North Korean ballistic missiles into Ukraine,” he claimed on December 30, adding that it appeared to have landed in an open area.
The Russians then launched “multiple” North Korean missiles on Tuesday as part of a larger wave of heavy air attacks, according to Kirby. The impact of those missiles was still being assessed in Washington.
Russia has recently launched some of its most ferocious attacks on Ukraine since the conflict began over two years ago. According to Kyiv, Russia has launched around 300 assault drones and missiles of all types against cities across Ukraine since Friday.
“Like artillery and munitions, all of this helps Russia’s warfighting efforts,” Jenny Town, director of the Stimson Center’s 38 North Program, which examines North Korea, said.
While the White House would not specify which missiles Pyongyang had shipped to Russia, Kirby stated that they had a range of around 900 kilometers and presented a visual that purported to indicate KN-23 and KN-25 missiles.
Such missiles are new solid-propellant SRBMs that North Korea began testing in 2019, according to Ankit Panda of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the United States. “This is the first known combat use of these North Korean missiles,” said Mr. Kim.
Images from Ukrainian social media accounts clearly show remnants of the ring housing the control vanes that are distinctive of North Korea’s Hwasong-11 family of missiles, which includes the KN-23 and KN-25, according to Joost Oliemans, a Dutch scholar and expert on North Korea’s military.
Kirby stated that the US expects Russia and North Korea to learn from these launches and that Russia will target Ukraine with additional North Korean missiles.
He stated that Iran has not supplied close-range ballistic missiles to Russia, but Washington believes Russia plans to purchase Iranian missile weapons. Moscow has relied heavily on Iran for drones and other weapons to be used against Ukraine.