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White House: Russia Seeking Arms-for-Food Deal with N. Korea

Written: 2023-03-31 08:54:10Updated: 2023-03-31 14:11:47

White House: Russia Seeking Arms-for-Food Deal with N. Korea

Photo : YONHAP News

The White House said on Thursday that Russia is again looking to acquire ammunition from North Korea in exchange for food aid.

White House National Security Council(NSC) spokesperson John Kirby made the remarks during a telephonic press briefing, saying that the U.S. remains concerned that North Korea will provide further support for Russia's military operations against Ukraine.

Kirby said that the U.S. has new information that Russia is actively seeking to acquire additional munitions from the North, adding that a Slovakian national, Ashot Mkrtychev, is purportedly at the center of the new arms deal.

Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions against the Slovakian, alleging that he attempted to facilitate similar deals between the two nations.

The Treasury said in the announcement that from the end of 2022 to early 2023, Mkrtychev worked with North Korean officials to obtain over two dozen kinds of weapons and munitions for Russia in exchange for commercial aircraft, raw materials and commodities.

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