White House: Russia has used North Korean missiles to attack Ukraine

Russian troops fired several North Korean ballistic missiles at Ukraine between 30 December and 2 January, the National Security Council’s John Kirby told a White House briefing on Thursday.

Kirby said Russian forces launched at least one ballistic missile at Ukraine that landed in an open field in the Zaporizhzhia region on 30 December, adding that multiple North Korean ballistic missiles had also been used in the large-scale Russian attack on Ukraine on 2 January.

“These North Korean ballistic missiles are capable of ranges of approximately 900 kilometres.… This is a significant and concerning escalation,” Kirby continued, adding that North Korea had recently provided Russia with ballistic missile launchers and several dozen ballistic missiles.

Kirby said that in return Pyongyang was “seeking military assistance from Russia, including fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles … and other advanced technologies”, which he said would have “concerning security implications” for the Korean Peninsula and the Indo-Pacific region.

In November, Bloomberg reported that North Korea had sent more than a million rounds of artillery to Russia. South Korean lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum said there had been around 10 shipments of weapons from the DPRK to Russia since August, and that North Korea had also sent experts to Russia to advise on the use of the munitions.

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