Washington: The White House announced Thursday that US intelligence officials have concluded that Russia has obtained ballistic missiles from North Korea and is seeking to obtain close-range ballistic missiles from Iran, at a time when Moscow is seeking to replenish the supplies needed for its war with Ukraine.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said recently declassified intelligence found that North Korea had supplied Russia with ballistic missile launchers and several ballistic missiles.
He added that Russian forces fired at least one ballistic missile at Ukraine on December 30, and it landed in an open area in the Zaporizhya region.
He said Russia launched several North Korean ballistic missiles on Tuesday as part of an overnight attack, and the United States is assessing the impact. The range of the missiles is about 885 kilometers.
US intelligence officials believe that, in exchange for its arms support, North Korea wants Russia to supply it with aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment and other advanced technology.
Kirby said the Russian-Iranian agreement has not yet been completed, but the United States is “concerned that Russian negotiations to acquire close-range ballistic missiles from Iran are actively progressing.”
US intelligence findings support South Korea's assessment that North Korea has increased its cooperation with Moscow. The South Korean military said in November that North Korea was suspected of sending an unspecified number of short-range ballistic missiles, anti-tank missiles and portable anti-aircraft missiles to Russia, as well as rifles, rocket launchers, mortars and missiles.
The Biden administration has repeatedly sought to prove that the Kremlin has become dependent on North Korea, as well as Iran, to obtain the weapons it needs to fight its war against Ukraine, and has revealed intelligence findings that it says show this.