Pentagon: Russia Trades Tech for Arms with North Korea

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.22 - 2024 10:40 AM CET

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A Pentagon official suggests Russia is providing technological assistance to North Korea and Iran in exchange for weapons.

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Russia is likely offering technological assistance to North Korea in exchange for military support, deepening global security threats, particularly towards the United States, according to a senior Pentagon official.

As reported by Yonhap, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space and Missile Defense, John Hill, shared these concerns during a Senate subcommittee session on strategic forces under the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Expanding Security Threats

Hill addressed the issue in response to questions regarding emerging space security cooperation between Iran and Russia.

"It does not stop at Iran," Hill stated during the session.

"It also involves North Korea, as we've seen with Iran and North Korea providing Russia with missiles to support Russia's operations in Ukraine, and then Russia likely providing them with technological assistance in their programs to expand the threats that they present to us and to others."

While Hill did not detail the specific technology aid provided to Pyongyang, it is suspected that North Korea has been seeking Russian assistance, including fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, and ballistic missile production equipment.

In return, North Korea has reportedly supplied ballistic missiles, munitions, and other arms to Russia.

"We are certainly watching what they are doing," Hill affirmed.

"The ability to continue cutting off Russia and Iran and North Korea is fundamentally at the crux of it, but they are going to keep pressing on us."

The strengthening military cooperation between Russia and North Korea has sparked concern among Washington, Seoul, and other nations, as it poses broader security implications that could affect stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.

North Korea's Space Ambitions

In a written statement, Hill emphasized North Korea's persistent pursuit of its space program, noting its several reconnaissance satellite launch attempts over the past year.

These activities violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions related to the use of ballistic missile technology by North Korea.

"The DPRK continues to pursue its space program," Hill wrote, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The DPRK also maintains previously demonstrated non-kinetic counterspace capabilities, including systems for jamming communications and GPS signals."

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