White House Says North Korea, Russia Swapped Secret Letters As Relationship Grows Closer


Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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The White House revealed Wednesday that it had received intelligence indicating that Russia and North Korea swapped secret letters about the war in Ukraine amid efforts from Russian President Vladimir Putin to obtain more weapons.

White House national security council spokesman John Kirby did not reveal how the U.S. got the intelligence about the letters, but said Russia is looking for more artillery shells to bolster its supplies in the Russia-Ukraine war, The Associated Press reported

The letters were “more at the surface level,” but indicate that weapons talks between the two countries are advancing, Kirby said, according to the outlet.

Kirby also noted that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently went to North Korea in an attempt to get more weapons, and that any weapons transfer between Moscow and Pyongyang would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.

In this pool photograph distributed by Sputnik agency, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) attends a meeting with Vladimir Saldo (L), Moscow’s appointed head of the Kherson region of Ukraine, in Moscow, on August 24, 2023. (Photo by Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia was reportedly in the process of obtaining millions of artillery rounds from North Korea as early as Sept. 2022, The New York Times reported at the time. Russia’s determination to work with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may result from the impact of western sanctions on Moscow, some analysts have suggested. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Promises ‘Full Support And Solidarity’ To Putin)

In June, the North Korean leader vowed Putin “full support and solidarity,” according to North Korean state media.

“I affirm my willingness to strive for closer strategic cooperation between the DPRK and Russia, hand in hand with you, in conformity with the common desire of the peoples of the two countries to fulfill the grand goal of building a powerful country and reliably defend global peace and security,” Kim said.