- Russia has revived its oil trade with longtime ally North Korea as the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine continues.
- A UN report states that Russia has exported 67,000 barrels of oil to North Korea since December.
- North Korea has been accused of sending weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine.
Russia has revived its oil trade with longtime ally North Korea as the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine continues.
According to Bloomberg, shipments of refined petroleum products were halted in October 2020, but a UN report found they resumed in December and have continued into this year, totaling about 67,000 barrels.
The report comes amid other signs that the two heavily restricted regimes are deepening their cooperation.
US officials suspect Pyongyang of supplying weapons to Russia, and on Monday the State Department said the US is concerned that North Korea plans to send more weapons.
A State Department spokesman told Reuters the US had confirmed that North Korea had delivered weapons, including rockets and missiles, to Russia’s Wagner mercenary group in November.
In March, the US sanctioned a Slovakian man suspected of trying to sell North Korean weapons and munitions to Russia for the war on Ukraine.
On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un reiterated support for Moscow and indicated he would join hands firmly with “Russian President,” Vladimir Putin.
Pyongyang has rejected accusations of providing weapons to Russia, but North Korea’s stockpile includes 21,600 Soviet-era artillery pieces, which is consistent. By selling to Russia, it would also provide the country with much-needed revenue, Bloomberg said.
The United Nations has banned the sale of arms to North Korea, although it has reportedly provided arms to Iran, Syria and Uganda. With UN sanctions also limiting its oil imports to 500,000 barrels per year, Pyongyang has also found some ways.
Meanwhile, sanctions are hitting Russian energy profits – last month’s oil and gas revenue fell 30.6 billion rubles short of expectations. In view of this, the country has started selling foreign currency from its treasury.