The Russian Federation, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is flagrantly violating UN Security Council resolutions by procuring weapons from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, and Iran for its war of aggression against Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield called these actions “despicable.”
“The United States can confirm that the DPRK has completed an initial arms delivery to the Russian private military company known as Wagner, which paid for the equipment and currently has thousands of troops deployed to Ukraine,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield in a statement.
In November, the DPRK delivered infantry rockets and missiles into Russia for use by Wagner. In part because of U.S. sanctions and export controls, Wagner is searching around the world for arms suppliers to support its military operations in Ukraine. “We assess that the amount of materiel delivered to Wagner will not change battlefield dynamics in Ukraine,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, “but we are concerned that the DPRK is planning to deliver more military equipment to Wagner.”
For years, the Kremlin has used the Wagner Group to support its dangerous and destabilizing foreign policy while attempting to maintain deniability in the Middle East, Africa, and Ukraine. Wagner’s purchase of weapons from the DPRK to wreak destruction in Ukraine also contributes to instability on the Korean peninsula by giving Pyongyang funds it can use to further develop its prohibited weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
These transfers occur as Pyongyang has launched an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles in 2022 – each of which violated multiple Security Council resolutions for which the Security Council must hold the DPRK accountable. “Russia,” declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, “is not only defending the DPRK as it engages in unlawful and threatening behavior; Russia is now a partner to such behavior.”
The United States will raise the DPRK’s and Russia’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions in future meetings of the Security Council.
Russia must be held to account for its illegal procurement of weapons from the DPRK and Iran to pursue its war in Ukraine.