TechNorth Korea's support for Russia could surge, warns Ukrainian intelligence chief

North Korea's support for Russia could surge, warns Ukrainian intelligence chief

Russian and North Korean politicians viewing weapons at an exhibition in Pyongyang.
Russian and North Korean politicians viewing weapons at an exhibition in Pyongyang.
Images source: © Korean Central News Agency, Associated Press
11:42 AM EST, January 31, 2024, updated: 4:35 AM EST, March 7, 2024

While conversing with a Ukrainian website, Budanov shed light on the human resources available to North Korea. With an economy heavily invested in the arms industry, production could escalate if directed by the local regime. Military collaboration might become a significant talking point during the upcoming Putin-Kim Jong Un meeting. The West predicts North Korea could receive rocket technology in exchange for larger artillery ammunition shipments.

"Russia perceives providing specific missile technologies to North Korea as standard procedure. That is their viewpoint. North Korea would make considerable efforts to procure this technology," remarked Budanov.

North Korea could escalate support for Russia

The Ukrainian military intelligence chief also reflected on reports concerning the substandard quality of North Korean missiles. Compared to Western ammunition, the threat should not be dismissed lightly despite being outdated and inferior (with traces of various gunpowders and even evidence of removed covers). These are typically delivered in high quantities and will likely land on Ukrainian territory despite their reduced accuracy.

"There will surely be a surge in artillery weapon shipments. The local weaponry might not be very up-to-date, but the production quantity is substantial. While it's last-century weaponry, the missile will reach. It may stray from its target slightly, but it will arrive," emphasized the Ukrainian official.

Artillery ammunition of 122 mm and 152 mm caliber, and ballistic missiles

Prior disclosed information from Ukrainian or British intelligence sources suggests that Pyongyang mainly supplies Putin's army with 122 mm and 152 mm caliber projectiles.

These are required in utmost quantities as they are substantial in artillery systems widely used by Russia. This includes artillery systems such as the 2S3 Akatsiya, 2S5 Giatsint, and 2S19 Msta.

Pyongyang also supplies rockets for the BM-21 "Grad" launchers. In early January 2024, evidence was discovered for the first time of Russia using another, potentially more lethal, weapon from North Korea. A ballistic missile, marked as either KN-23 or KN-24, landed in Kharkiv. These short-range solid-fuel ballistic missiles can target sites several hundred miles away. Warheads used in this context weigh approximately 1102 lbs.

Related content