Russia Fired Over 24 North Korean Missiles at Ukraine In Recent Weeks: Kiev

Ukraine says Russia has fired at least 24 North Korean ballistic missiles at its territory in recent weeks, killing at least 14 civilians.

The Friday announcement was given by Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, who said this figure is based on Ukrainian intelligence data since Dec.30. Kiev is trying to spotlight the deepening relationship between Moscow and Pyongyang, also in hopes of more Western action like sanctions against both.

Via Reuters

But Ukraine is also spotlighting what it points to as the largely inaccurate nature of the North Korean missiles. "The accuracy of the missiles is questionable," Kostin said.

He described that merely two of the missiles were "relatively" accurate, citing attacks on an oil refinery and an airfield. They appear to be ballistic missiles and have been observed making very large impacts (see below video).

"In total, between December 30, 2023 and February 7, 2024, the enemy launched at least 12 attacks on seven regions of Ukraine with this type of (North Korean) missile," the prosecutor said.

Washington has over the course of the Ukraine conflict at various points accused North Korea of supplying the Russian military with additional artillery ammo. The two countries actually share a small border and large transfers are able to be made by train.

Late last month a senior Biden admin official said, "We are deeply concerned about the recent testing of weapons. We are deeply concerned about the growing relationship between Russia and the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] and what that might mean for Mr. Kim’s intentions."

And this week CNN revealed the following:

The Biden administration is concerned enough that national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised the issue with the Chinese foreign minister during a January meeting, a senior White House official told reporters late last month.

If North Korea is able to use a tighter relationship with Russia to loosen China’s influence, officials fear, that could remove what some believe has been an important handbrake on Pyongyang’s nuclear testing program.

“I think [Kim] is constantly looking for some kind of an edge,” a senior defense official said.

While it has long been reported that hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds are being supplied from North Korea to Russia, potential Russian military reliance on North Korean ballistic missiles would be a new unexpected development.

Close US ally South Korea has recently asserted that Ukraine is a big "test site" for North Korean missiles and weaponry.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has predicted that the two countries are continuing to negotiate over the "significant quantities and multiple types" of weapons to use in Ukraine.

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