Ukraine war: What will North Korean weapons do for Russia?
According to reports, North Korea intends to sell ammunition to Moscow. These are likely to be copies of Soviet-era weapons which can fit Russian launchers. There are questions about the supply’s quality.
North Korea appears to be moving to sell millions upon millions of artillery and rocket shells to its Cold War ally Russia.
Russia called the U.S. intelligence document on the purchase plan “fake” but U.S. officials claim it shows Russia’s desperateness with the war in Ukraine, and that Moscow could also buy more military hardware from North Korea.
According to reports, North Korea intends to sell ammunition to Moscow. These are likely to be copies of Soviet-era weapons which can fit Russian launchers. There are questions about the supply quality and the extent to which they can help the Russian military.
WHAT WILL NORTH KOREA SUPPLY RUSSIA?
Russia was hit with international sanctions and export restrictions when it bought drones made in Iran in August. However, U.S. officials claimed that the drones had technical issues. Russia has another option, North Korea, which is likely to be a good choice for its ammunition supply. The North maintains a large stockpile, many of which are copies of Soviet-era shells.
North Korea may be the largest source of compatible legacy ammunition other than Russia, according to Joseph Dempsey (research associate for defense analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, IISS).
Expert with the Korea Defense Network, Lee Illwoo stated that both North and South Korea have tens to millions of artillery guns each. They are separated by the most fortified border in the world for over 70 years. He said that North Korea is likely to sell its older shells and replace them with newer ones for multiple rocket launch systems or advanced missiles at its front-line military bases.
Bruce Bennett, a Rand Corporation senior security expert, stated that most artillery rounds sent to Russia will be ammunition for small arms such as AK47 rifles and machine guns.
It’s not millions upon millions of rockets and artillery shells, that’s more than what’s likely to be consumed. Bennett stated that it could be millions upon millions of small arms rounds.
HOW GOOD ARE THE NORTH KOREAN WEAPONS
An IISS assessment has shown that North Korea currently has approximately 20,000 artillery pieces, including multiple rocket launchers, in service. Dempsey called this number “significantly greater than any other country in the world.”
North Korea’s state media called its artillery guns the “first arm of the People’s Army” and “the most powerful arm in all of the world,” describing them as able to reduce enemy positions into “a sea, of flames.”
However, its older artillery systems, whose ammo will be supplied to Russia, are known for their poor accuracy.
Bennett stated that only 80 percent of the 300-400 weapons North Korea could have fired on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island front-line in 2010, which resulted in four deaths, was likely to have hit their target. Lee stated that about half the North Korean shells fired ended up in the seas before reaching the island.
“That is a miserable artillery performance. Bennett stated that the Russians might experience the same thing which won’t make them happy.
Some observers doubt the effectiveness of North Korean ammunition in the Russian campaign against Ukraine. They claim that it has reduced the military’s capabilities. Social media has posted photos of barrel-busted Russian guns.
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