Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2024

Putin humiliated as supposed ally North Korea ‘supplies Russia with dud shells’ | World | News


While Ukraine is seeing the amount of military aid coming its way dwindle, Russia can reportedly count on Iran and North Korea for weapons and ammunition to be used against Kyiv’s troops.

While Tehran is suspected of providing the Kremlin with Shahed drones, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are said to have agreed on a deal seeing Pyongyang shipping ammunition to Russia in exchange for technological assistance.

Since the meeting of the two authoritarian leaders in September last year, North Korea sent 1.5 million artillery shells to be used by the Russian army, a Ukrainian intelligence chief has said.

However, half of them were duds, according to Major-General Vadym Skibitsky, deputy chief of Kyiv’s intelligence directorate.

The ammunition spared by North Korea for Russia is decades old, the Ukrainian official claimed.

He told Ukrainian news agency Interfax: “As of today, taking into account the available statistics, Russia has already imported 1.5 million rounds of ammunition from the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea].

“However, these shells were made in the 70s and 80s. Half of them do not work and the rest need to be either repaired or checked before being used.”

In September 2022, Putin announced a partial mobilisation in his country, which placed Russians and the country’s economy on a war footing.

Despite reports of a massive Russian bread factory being turned into a drone assembly line, Maj Gen Skibitsky believes the reliance of Moscow on old North Korean military products is evidence Moscow is struggling to boost its production capacity.

He said: “[North Korea] gives away old stuff … ramps up the domestic production and asks for certain technologies in exchange, particularly missile and submarine technologies with the aim of developing its own defence industry.

“This proves once again that Russia lacks its own production capacity for a rapid and powerful increase in missile production. If it did not, why would it ask North Korea?”

Kim made a rare trip outside his hermit country in September to meet Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Siberia. He was also seen walking through the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island and visiting Russia‘s largest aquarium, Primorsky.

Most notably, he inspected warplanes, missile systems and the Russian Navy at its Far East base in Vladivostok.

A few weeks later, Pyongyang attempted for the third time to send a spy satellite into orbit – and succeeded.

Maj Gen Skibitsky’s blistering remarks came a few weeks after reports that Russian forces on the frontline in Ukraine are complaining about North Korean-made ammunitions randomly “exploding”.

Tendar, a social media account that monitors the war in Ukraine, wrote on X in December: “Russian military bloggers report that the North Korean ammunition is very unevenly produced. Even coming from the same production lot, it is obvious that deviations in the charge compositions and powder can be seen.

“It is very poor quality. Targeting and hitting becomes a game of luck. This comes after reports of production deviations of the shells in terms of manufacturing tolerances which were too much outside acceptable parameters and causing barrels of Russian artillery to explode.”



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