Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Moscow, Aug. 23, 2023, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party at its headquarters in Pyongyang, North Korea, in early 2023.

Putin, Kim traded letters as Russia seeks munitions from North Korea, White House says

By Aamer Madhani – Associated Press –

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday said that it has new intelligence that shows Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have swapped letters as Russia looks to North Korea for munitions for the war in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby detailed the latest finding just weeks after the White House said that it had determined that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a recent visit to Pyongyang called on North Korean officials to increase the sale of munitions to Moscow for its Ukraine war.

Kirby said that Russia is looking for additional artillery shells and other basic materiel to shore up its defense industrial base.

He added that the letters were “more at the surface level” but that Russian and North Korean talks on a weapons sale were advancing. The leaders exchanged the letters following Shoigu’s visit, he said.

“Following Shoigu’s visit another group of Russian officials traveled to Pyongyang for follow-on discussions about potential arms deals between the DPRK and Russia,” Kirby said, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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