SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea appears to be moving sell millions of rockets and artillery shells – a lot of of them, most likely from his old stock – his Cold War ally Russia.
Russia called the report of American intelligence on the procurement plan is “fake”. But US officials say that shows Russia’s despair with war in Ukraine and what Moscow could buy additional military equipment from North Korea.
The ammunition that North Korea intends to sell to Moscow is likely to be replicas. of Soviet-era weapons that fit Russian launchers. But there are more questions over quality of supplies and how much that they could actually help Russian military.
WHAT EXACTLY WILL NORTH KOREA SUPPLY TO RUSSIA?
hit international sanctions and export controlsRussia in August bought Iran-made drones that US officials said had technical problems. For Russia, North Korea is probably another good option for supply of ammunition, because the North keeps a significant stock of seashells, many of their copies of Soviet times.
North Korea “may represent the single largest source of of compatible obsolete artillery ammunition outside of Russia, including domestic production facilities for further deliveries,” said Joseph Dempsey, research associated for defense as well as military analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
Lee Ilwu, expert with Korea Defense Network in South Korea, as both North and South Korea said, split along the world, Russia’s most heavily fortified border for more than 70 years – keep tens of millions of artillery shells each. North Korea is likely to sell old shells it wants to replace with newer those for multiple rocket launchers or complex rockets in its forward army bases, he said.
But Bruce Bennet senior a security expert at California-based Rand Corporation, said most of artillery rounds most likely there will be ammunition to be sent to Russia for small weapons such as AK-47s or machine guns.
“Is not millions of artillery shells and rockets are more than likely consumption. maybe millions of small arms rounds” Bennett said.
HOW GOOD IS THE NORTH KOREA WEAPONS?
The IISS estimates that North Korea has about 20,000 artillery pieces, including multiple rocket launchers. in service, a number that Dempsey described as “significantly more Than any other country in in world”.
state of North Korea media named their artillery pieces ” first hand of People’s Army and most powerful hand in in world” it may reduce enemy position in the sea of flame”.
But its old artillery systems, the ammunition for which will most likely be supplied to Russia, have reputation for poor accuracy.
During the artillery shelling of North Korea of South Korean frontline island Yongpyeong in 2010, the year in which four people died, Bennett said that only 80 of 300-400 North Korean weapons should most likely shot hit their goal. In his assessment, Lee spoke of half of fired by North Korean shells ended up falling into the water before reaching the island.
“It’s pathetic artillery performance. Russians can experience the same thing that won’t make them very happy,” Bennett said.
Observers doubt usefulness of North Korean ammunition for Russian campaign in Ukraine, which they say has exhausted military. There were photos of destroyed Russian guns on social media.
Dont clear how serious shortage of Russians of there is ammunition. In July senior US defense official told reporters that Russia is launching dozens of thousands of artillery pieces rounds every day and couldn’t keep it up forever and ever.
“While significant reserves probably still exist, they could increasingly disrupt on reserved for unseen circumstances of Wider future conflict,” Dempsey said.
NO NORTH KOREA MISSILES EXPECTED
this is unlikely for North Korea will provide Russia with ballistic missiles, which he considers critical in this is military strategies for Washington and Seoul, said Yang Wook, analyst at Seoul Asan Institute for Political studies.
And if North Korea decides to supply missiles to Russia, it need send your own launchers as well, because Russia has no launchers for “Scuds” of the North and other missiles. North Korea has developed a highly maneuverable nuclear-tethered ballistic missile that was probably modeled on Russian Iskander. But two missiles of different sizes, according to Shin Jongwoo, military expert of the Korea Defense and Security Forum in Seoul,
There would be a number of items which North Korea could provide Russia, given that two countries share weapons systems back Soviet times. But type of The ammunition that North Korea will supply to Russia is “probably outdated and will expire soon,” Moon Sung-muk said. analyst at the Korean Research Institute of South Korea for National strategy.
WHAT CAN NORTH KOREA GET IN REPLACEMENT?
Instead for weapons, North Korea most likely want food, fuel, combat aircraft components and others materials From Russia. North is hard buy such goods from abroad under UN sanctions are introduced over nuclear program, Shin said.
Yang said it possible that North Korea is looking for modern Russian weapons technologies this would intensify its efforts to build more powerfultech missiles aimed at the US and its allies.
“That would definitely be the worst-case scenario,” Yang said.
According to Bennett, North Korea would be willing to receive compensation. with fuel. For his more advanced weapons, he can search for advanced weapons technologies from Russia, possibly including those she needs for its expected nuclear test, first of kind in five years, he said.
He said it would be hard for Russia and North Korea in move ammunition over their narrow 15-kilometer (9-mile) border, where there is only one, single-track railway bridge across the river. Bennett said China could help allowing use of his railroads. Other experts say North Korea and Russia may use sea route, as well as their cross-border railway.