TechRussia and the new "axis of evil": Kim Jong Un's factories in full production

Russia and the new "axis of evil": Kim Jong Un's factories in full production

Artillery shell production.
Artillery shell production.
Images source: © Getty Images | The Washington Post
4:14 PM EDT, November 2, 2023

Reports from South Korean intelligence suggest that, since August of this year, Russia may have received over a million pieces of artillery ammunition from Kim Jong Un's regime. North Korean factories are reportedly on overdrive, even utilizing local residents as workforce. We delve into the aspects of this emerging "axis of evil".

According to Bloomberg, South Korean intelligence reports indicate that Russia has already received ten shipments of ammunition. It's estimated that since August 2023, over a million bullets and rockets from North Korea have entered Russian territory, which, with the strategic planning by North Korean military advisers, could support two months of warfare.

Korea's regime, under Kim Jong Un, has directed its ammunition factories to ramp up production. These factories are operating for twelve hours a day, six days a week, and are also employing local citizens.

Russia's place in the new "Axis of Evil 2.0"

Indications suggest that Russia has assumed Iraq's position in the infamous "axis of evil". This term was coined by George W. Bush in his speech on January 29, 2002, referring initially to North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as rogue states.

North Korea's capacity for advanced weaponry production is limited. However, it has significant capabilities to manufacture simple artillery ammunition, which, despite domestic increases, Russia finds insufficient. It's primarily these 122 mm and 152 mm artillery shells and simple 122 mm rockets that are being majority-transported to Russia.

The shells are simple constructs comprised of a cast steel casing filled with explosive material and a basic impact fuse designed to detonate upon hitting the target. A similar construct applies to the unguided rocket projectiles, with the addition of rocket fuel.

It's worth highlighting that North Korean designs are licensed variants acquired from the USSR or later from China. Hence, there is no advanced precision ammunition involved.

For instance, 122 mm shells containing about 7.7 lbs of TNT or other explosive material can target and strike up to roughly 9.3 miles. Larger 152 mm shells have an increased range up to 11.2 miles and contain an explosive insert that weighs about 17.6 lbs.

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