Kim Jong Un Reportedly Set To Receive Significant Compensation For Sending Newest Missiles To Russia Amid Ukraine Conflict

North Korea appears to be shipping its latest nuclear-capable missiles to Russia.

What Happened: The missiles implicated are believed to be from the Hwasong-11 range, a new breed of ballistic missile that’s easily concealed, swiftly deployed, and hard to intercept. According to images provided by the U.S., these missiles are difficult to shoot down and can accurately hit targets with a high degree of precision, Bloomberg reported.

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, is expected to receive significant compensation from Russian President Vladimir Putin for these missiles, which are estimated to cost around $5 million each. The exchange reportedly involves Moscow supplying North Korea with weapons, cash, and commodities to bolster its economy, which is suffering under international sanctions.

The transfer of these missiles, which have a range of 400-800 kilometers, could potentially increase the Kremlin’s arsenal for attacking Ukraine. This comes as the conflict initiated by Putin in 2022 enters its third year.

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Weapons expert Joost Oliemanns confirmed that images of missile parts found in Ukraine matched those of the Hwasong-11 series. These North Korean missiles, despite their similarities with Russia’s Iskander ballistic missile, are considered indigenous.

The U.S. has asserted that Russia used North Korean-supplied missiles in at least two attacks on Ukraine on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. Moreover, White House spokesman John Kirby said that Russia plans to continue using these missiles, which can be launched from as far as 550 miles away, in the coming weeks.

Despite the Biden administration’s plans to address these developments at the United Nations Security Council, it remains uncertain whether any effective measures can be taken to halt the illicit trade between North Korea and Russia.

Why It Matters: North Korean leader Kim has prioritized ramping up production of missiles and mobile launchers, which could potentially increase the number of missiles it can fire in a first strike or retaliatory strike on South Korea and Japan.

This development follows on the heels of North Korea’s recent military activities, including the firing of over 200 rounds of coastal artillery, which led South Korea to issue evacuation orders for civilians on Yeonpyeong Island. These actions violate the 2018 Inter-Korean Military Agreement.

Earlier this year, Kim announced North Korea’s intention to launch three additional spy satellites and reaffirmed that South Korea is no longer a partner for reunification. These escalations indicate a further strain on international relations and heightened tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

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Photo by Alexander Khitrov on Shutterstock

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