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Defence Intelligence working on evidence base regarding supply of North Korean missiles to Russia

Wednesday, 10 January 2024, 18:44
Defence Intelligence working on evidence base regarding supply of North Korean missiles to Russia
Vadym Skibitskyi, Defence Intelligence representative. Photo: Ukraine-Ukrinform media centre

Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, has stated that Ukraine currently has no evidence of missiles supplied by North Korea to Russia, but Defence Intelligence is aware of the existence of such agreements. 

Source: Major General Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Chief of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, in a new episode of (un)Safe Country podcast by Ukrainska Pravda

Quote: "Today, we clearly know that, yes, there are agreements (on the supply of missiles to the DPRK – ed.), and there are supplies of ammunition.


There is a lot of talk about ballistic missiles. Russia is interested in obtaining ballistic missiles, because Russia does not have enough Iskander missiles. The Tochka-U missiles are already gone. [Tochka-U is a surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile; in Ukrainian, the term Tochka-U refers also to the operational-tactical missile system used to launch the missiles − ed.]

They are now considering the possibility of shooting and storing more former Soviet missiles there, but we are working very hard to find evidence. You remember how we worked in 2017-2018, when Ukraine applied to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and to the UN.

This is another issue. This all requires an evidence base. You can't just say that... You can't go to the International Court of Justice and say, well, the media published that someone launched it somewhere. It doesn't work that way. That's why we're not going to rush.

We are working on this issue, and if there are any, it will definitely show up."

Details: He also said that Ukraine currently has no clear information about the DPRK's supply of artillery shells to Russia.

However, Russia fulfilled its own defence order in 2023. Skibitskyi said that the Russian Federation has launched the production of 2 million rounds of ammunition a year, which is produced by its own military-industrial complex. We are talking about 122 mm and 152 mm ammunition. 

At the same time, Russia still faced a deficit of 0.5 million rounds of ammunition last year. Because of this, Russia first imported weapons from Belarus, then Iran and North Korea.

According to the deputy chief of the Ukrainian Defence Intelligence, Ukraine knows how and where the ammunition was imported, at which arsenals it was stored and how it was delivered to the frontline.

Skibitskyi noted that in 2024, Russia plans to increase ammunition production but will face problems with production facilities, personnel, and components.

According to Defence Intelligence, in 2024, Russia will have a shortage of ammunition at the level of 0.5 million, so the Russian occupiers will try to buy weapons from their allies.


  • Unnamed US officials commented to US media outlets that Russia plans to purchase short-range ballistic missiles from Iran and is already receiving dozens of ballistic missiles and launchers from North Korea.
  • On 4 January, John Kirby said that Russia had already used missiles purchased from North Korea in Ukraine at least twice: on 30 December 2023, a missile hit an open field in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and another on 2 January 2024 (the aftereffects of its use are still being assessed).
  • The United States is preparing additional sanctions against those involved in the provision of military assistance to Russia from North Korea and Iran, including ballistic missiles.
  • Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force, has said that the Air Force could not confirm information about Russia's use of ballistic missiles purchased from North Korea.

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