The Korea Herald


N. Korea will pay a price if it provides weapons to Russia: NSA Sullivan

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 6, 2023 - 09:18

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National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is seen speaking during a press briefing at the White House in Washington on Tuesday. (Yonhap) National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is seen speaking during a press briefing at the White House in Washington on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The top US national security adviser urged North Korea not to provide any lethal weapons to Russia on Tuesday, saying it will pay a price if it decides to do so.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said there were no indications that the North has provided large amounts of weapons to Russia but that negotiations toward that end between the two countries are "actively advancing."

"Providing weapons to Russia for use on the battlefield to attack grain silos and the heating infrastructure of major cities as we head into winter, to try to conquer territory that belongs to another sovereign nation is not going to reflect well on North Korea and they will pay a price for this in the international community," Sullivan told a press briefing at the White House.

Earlier news reports stated that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may be considering taking a trip to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discuss a possible arms deal between the two countries.

Sullivan partly confirmed the report, saying the reclusive North Korean leader has expectations for high-level, including leader-level, engagement with Russia.

"Most recently, we saw the defense minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, to make a trip to Pyongyang in essence to ask for weapons. And we also have information as we have indicated publicly that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has some expectation that those discussions will continue as we go forward, including leader-level discussions, perhaps even in person, leader-level discussions," he told the press briefing.

The Russian defense minister traveled to the North Korean capital in late July to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, celebrated in North Korea as Victory Day.

Shoigu said earlier that he has proposed holding a tripartite joint military exercise with North Korea and China during his trip to North Korea.

Sullivan said the US has yet to see large amounts of munitions or other military capacity being supplied to Russia by North Korea, but that negotiations to that end are actively advancing.

"I can only say that the discussions have been actively advancing and the Russians have imbued them with an increased intensity, as reflected in the fact that their defense minister, their number one guy in their defense establishment, actually got on a plane and flew to Pyongyang to try to push this forward," said Sullivan.

He underscored the fact that Pyongyang has publicly committed not to provide any weapons to Russia.

"We will continue to call it out and we will continue to call on North Korea to abide by its public commitments not to supply weapons to Russia that will end up killing Ukrainians," the national security advisor said.

"We will continue to look for opportunities to dissuade the North Koreans from taking the step," he added.

A state department spokesperson reaffirmed that the US will take action against any country that supports Russia's war in Ukraine.

"We have been incredibly clear about the potential consequences of any country taking action to support Russia further its illegal and unjust war of aggression in Ukraine and you have seen us take action in a number of these instances," Vedant Patel, deputy spokesperson for the state department, told a daily press briefing.

"I am not going to preview actions from up here but, of course, we will calibrate appropriately with our allies and partners, including those in the region, and take appropriate steps as necessary," he added.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder stressed that an arms deal between Pyongyang and Moscow would violate a number of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

"Such a sale would violate multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and it would prolong the unnecessary suffering of Ukrainian civilians who are impacted by Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine," he told a daily press briefing at the defense department.

"So again, from a US government standpoint, we would call on North Korea to refrain from selling ammunition and arms to Russia, which would unnecessarily prolong this conflict," added Ryder. (Yonhap)