White House Concerned About New Russia-North Korea Alliance

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.19 - 2024 8:44 AM CET

White House Concerned About New Russia-North Korea Alliance.

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Russia and North Korea have considerably strengthened their military ties. This escalated cooperation, observed since the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, marks a concerning shift in international relations.

The Evolution of a New Partnership

Pranay Vaddi, the White House's senior director for arms control, emphasized the gravity of this situation during an interview with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank on January 18th.

He highlighted that the nature of security threats from North Korea could drastically evolve over the next decade due to this alliance. Russia, facing isolation after its actions in Ukraine, has sought new allies, leading to this burgeoning partnership with North Korea, a nation known for its military ambitions and isolationist stance.

The relationship between Moscow and Pyongyang is increasingly reciprocal. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, noted that Russia is potentially offering advanced military technology to North Korea, including long-range attack capabilities and possibly ballistic missiles and nuclear technologies.

In return, North Korea has supplied approximately one million rounds of ammunition to Russia, as stated by a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence.

Implications for Global Security

This partnership's immediate impact has been evident in Ukraine, with allegations of North Korea-supplied ballistic missiles being used in attacks. However, its long-term consequences are expected to be more pronounced in the Pacific region.

The U.S., along with its military allies South Korea and Japan, faces the challenge of strengthening their deterrence to counter North Korea's hostile activities, which are likely to be emboldened by this cooperation.

North Korea's Response to Regional Military Drills

In a provocative move, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency claimed on January 19th that the country had tested an "underwater nuclear weapons system" in response to recent joint military drills held by the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.

The system, referred to as "Haiel," is an unmanned nuclear-capable attack drone.

Joint Condemnation by the U.S., South Korea, and Japan

The nuclear envoys of these three nations met in Seoul and collectively condemned North Korea's military activities and its weapons trade with Russia.

The U.S. and nearly 50 other countries have called for an immediate halt to the delivery of weapons from Pyongyang to Moscow, highlighting the critical need for international cooperation to address this evolving security threat.

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