Ukraine is firing North Korean missiles at Russian troops, believed to have been seized from Moscow’s forces by a country “friendly” to Kyiv.
But adding insult to injury for Pyongyang and Moscow, a Ukrainian artillery commander confessed his troops don’t favour using these munitions as they have a high dud rate, are prone to misfire or fail entirely to explode. But, he acknowledged, they are still happy to use them as Ukraine needs all the ammunition it can get.
The markings on these missiles show they were manufactured between the 1980s and 1990s.
One Ukrainian Grad unit member warned a journalist who reported the use of the munitions after seeing them being deployed not to get too close to the rocket launcher as the North Korean missiles “are very unreliable and do crazy things sometimes”.
The troop seen firing these North Korean munitions were fighting Russian forces in the Bakhmut area, the Financial Times said.
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Pictures from late June show these munitions were also fired by Ukrainians fighting in the southern Zaporizhzhia region.
Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister, didn’t share which country delivered these missiles to Ukraine, but said: “Russia has been shopping around for different types of munitions in all kinds of tyrannies, including North Korea and Iran.”
Indeed, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu headed to Pyongyang earlier this week.
While he officially headed to North Korea to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean war armistice, and his meeting with the president of the hermit nation Kim Jong-un was described by state media as a “friendly talk”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken believes Mr Shoigu’s trip aimed at securing military supplies.
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While in Pyongyang, Mr Shoigu also viewed North Korean ballistic missiles at a military expo.
During a visit to Australia, Mr Blinken said: “I strongly doubt he’s there on holiday.
“We’re seeing Russia desperately looking for support, for weapons, wherever it can find them to continue to prosecute its aggression against Ukraine.
“We see that in North Korea, we see that as well with Iran, which has provided many drones to Russia that it’s using to destroy civilian infrastructure and killed civilians in Ukraine.”
North Korea and Russia have previously denied conducting arms transactions.
The reported use of North Korean weapons believed to have been meant for Russia against Russians sparked the irony of some online commentators, with one person writing on Reddit: “How do you beat crazy? With crazy.”
A second, referring to Putin and Kim Jong-un, said: “The one little man gettin’ scr***d by the other little man – perfect!
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