Russia used sanctioned North Korean missiles to attack Kharkiv, UN concludes

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un

Missile debris that fell in Kharkiv on Jan. 2 was from a Hwasong-11 series North Korean ballistic missile, UN experts said, Reuters reported.

"Debris recovered from a missile that landed in Kharkiv, Ukraine on January 2, 2024 is from a DPRK (North Korea) Hwasong-11 series missile", the 32-page UN report concludes, adding that the missile violates the arms embargo on North Korea.

North Korea has been under UN sanctions over its ballistic missiles and nuclear program since 2006, and those measures have been tightened over the years.

Three sanctions monitors arrived in Ukraine in April to inspect the missile debris and found no evidence that the missile was made by Russia.

The report said it "was impossible to independently identify neither from where the missile was launched nor by whom."

"Information about the trajectory provided by Ukrainian authorities indicates that it was launched from Russia," they wrote in an April 25 report to the Security Council's North Korea Sanctions Committee.

"This placement would likely mean a missile procurement made by Russia, if the missile was under Russian forces’ control" they said, adding that it would violate a 2006 arms embargo imposed on North Korea.

Read also: North Korea keeps supplying Russia with weapons – Pentagon

North Korean weapons in Russia's war against Ukraine

Russia started firing North Korean ballistic missiles at targets in Ukraine since early January, White House National Security spokesperson, John Kirby, said earlier.

Russia fired several North Korean missiles at Ukraine on Jan. 6, the White House confirmed.

North Korea is using Ukraine as a “testing ground” for ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, South Korea’s UN representative, Hwang Joon-kook, said.

North Korea called the U.S. accusations of transferring ballistic missiles to Russia for the war against Ukraine “groundless.”

Russian air attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure use North Korean weapons, Ukraine’s SBU Security Service announced on Feb. 22, adding that Russia had fired more than 20 North Korean munitions at Ukraine.

Russia has launched approximately 50 North Korean Hwasong-11 ballistic missiles across six Ukrainian regions, Ukrainian law enforcement reported on March 14.

Russia has attacked Ukraine with North Korean missiles at least 10 times, a senior U.S. State Department official specializing on North Korea, Jung Pak, said on March 20.

The U.S. remains concerned that North Korea continues to sell weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine, especially for their use in targeting civilian infrastructure.

North Korea has sent around 7,000 containers of ammunition and other military equipment to Russia since 2023.

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