July 29 (Reuters) – Ukrainian soldiers were observed using North Korean rockets that they said were seized by a “friendly” country before being delivered to Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry suggested the weapons were captured from the Russians, the paper said.
The United States has accused North Korea of supplying weapons to Russia, including alleged shipments by sea, but has not provided evidence, and North Korean weapons have not been widely observed on the battlefields of Ukraine.
North Korea and Russia deny having carried out arms transactions.
The North Korean weapons were displayed by Ukrainian troops operating from Soviet-era Grad multiple-launch rocket systems near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, the site of prolonged brutal fighting, the report said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made a rare visit to Pyongyang this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, the first visit by Moscow’s top defense official since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
During the visit, Shoigu was photographed viewing banned North Korean ballistic missiles with leader Kim Jong Un at a military exhibition in Pyongyang, signaling deepening ties between the two countries as they each face off against the United States.
Reporting by Josh Smith and Soo-hyang Choi; Editing by William Mallard
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