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White House: US concerned that N. Korea, Russia arms talks are advancing

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The United States is concerned that arms negotiations between Russia and North Korea are actively advancing, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told a briefing on Wednesday.

Kirby said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had recently traveled to North Korea to try to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

Kirby said Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had exchanged letters pledging to increase their bilateral cooperation and said the United States had intelligence that indicated another group of Russian officials had traveled to Pyongyang after the defense minister’s visit.

Under the deals, Russia would receive arms that the military plans to use in the war with Ukraine, Kirby said. The deals could also include raw materials that would help Russia’s defense industrial base.

Kirby said any arms deals between Russia and North Korea would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia,” Kirby told reporters, referring to North Korea.

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