Friday March 31, 2023 – Russia is sending a delegation to North Korea to offer food in exchange for weapons, the US government has revealed.
The US has previously accused North Korea of supplying arms to the Russian military in Ukraine and the Wagner group of Russia mercenaries, claims North Korea has denied.
According to the US national security spokesperson John Kirby, any arms deal between North Korea and Russia would violate UN Security Council resolutions.
Kirby told a news conference on Thursday, March 30, the US had new information about a deal between both countries.
“We also understand that Russia is seeking to send a delegation in North Korea and that Russia is offering North Korea food in exchange for munitions,” he said.
Kirby said the US was monitoring the situation, and the alleged deal, closely.
The US Treasury also blacklisted a Slovakian man for acting as a broker between Russia and North Korea. Featuring on the sanctions blacklist means American businesses cannot have dealings with Mkrtychev, and it freezes his US assets.
The treasury said Ashot Mkrtychev, 56, had arranged sales and organise deals that would enable North Korea to ship weapons to Russia in late 2022 and early 2023.
In return Pyongyang received cash, commercial aircraft, commodities and raw materials, they said.