North Korea will have to pay a "price" if it supplies Russia with weapons for the country to fight its war against Ukraine, a US top official said on Tuesday.
In a briefing on Tuesday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States believes the negotiations between North Korea and Russia are "actively advancing".
"Our current analysis is that discussions between North Korea and Russia, with respect to North Korea providing military support to Russia for its war in Ukraine - that those discussions are actively advancing," he said while responding to a media query on North Korea.
"So, I can't speculate on North Korea's motives....What I can say is this: Providing weapons to Russia for use on the battlefield to attack grain silos and the heating infrastructure of major cities as we head into winter to try to conquer territory that belongs to another sovereign nation - this is not going to reflect well on North Korea, and they will pay a price for this in the international community," Sullivan said.
Sullivan's remarks came at a time when North Korean leader Kim Jong UN is planning to travel to Russia this month and will hold a "leader-level diplomatic engagement" with President Vladimir Putin to continue actively advancing arms negotiations, CNN reported citing the US government.
US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson claimed that the US has the information that the North Korean leader will talk on the ongoing arms negotiations. "We have information that Kim Jong-Un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia," said Watson.
Watson did not say when and where a potential meeting between Kim and Putin in Russia might take place, but it would follow Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's visit to North Korea in July and comes after US officials last week said that the two countries are "actively advancing" their negotiations over another potential arms deal that could see Pyongyang providing weaponry to support Russia's war effort in Ukraine.
The Shoigu visit was made "to try to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia," Watson said.
"We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia." Since that trip another group of Russian officials travelled to Pyongyang for follow-on discussions, NSC strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said last week. Putin and Kim have also exchanged letters pledging to increase their bilateral cooperation," she added.
Earlier, the US claimed Russia and North Korea are "actively advancing" their talks regarding a potential arms deal that would provide significant ammunition for various weapons systems, including artillery. This is the latest sign that the Kremlin is desperate to acquire more supplies for its faltering invasion of Ukraine, CNN reported citing a recently released US intelligence.
The news of the probable deal has emerged despite North Korea's public denials.
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