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US Says Putin’s Remarks About Possible Weapons For North Korea Are ‘Incredibly Concerning’

Putin, North Korea, US, weapons
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un ride an Aurus car in Pyongyang, North Korea in this image released by the Korean Central News Agency June 20, 2024. KCNA via REUTERS.

The US has voiced its concern over President Putin’s comment that Moscow may supply weapons to North Korea. US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the remarks that came after signing a defence pact with Pyongyang are “incredibly concerning.”

Putin suggested weapons supplies to Pyongyang would be a mirror response to the Western arming of Ukraine. These remarks were made after his visit to North Korea.

He warned South Korea that it would be making “a big mistake” if it supplied arms to Ukraine. Putin said Moscow would respond to such a move in a way that would be painful for Seoul.

Miller said Putin’s remarks about possible arms supplies to North Korea “would destabilize the Korean Peninsula.”

“Depending on the type of weapons they provide, might violate UN Security Council resolutions that Russia itself has supported.”

The pact signed by Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday commits each side to provide immediate military assistance to the other. This is in the event of armed aggression against either one of them.

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White House national security spokesperson John Kirby called it a cause of concern, but no surprise. He said Russia’s need for such foreign assistance was a sign of desperation.

“Obviously, it’s something we’ve taken seriously.”

The head of NATO also voiced his concern about the support Russia could provide North Korea.

“We’ve been talking about this and warning about a burgeoning defence relationship between these two countries now for many months through a series of downgraded intelligence that we’ve put out there.”

US officials have said they believe North Korea is keen to acquire fighter aircraft. Russia could also provide surface-to-air missiles, armoured vehicles and ballistic missile production equipment.

With inputs from Reuters