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Russia used North Korean missiles in Ukraine, White House says

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Russia recently used North Korean ballistic missiles in Ukraine and is seeking Iranian missiles, a top White House official said Thursday.

“Our information indicates that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recently provided Russia with ballistic missile launchers and several ballistic missiles. On Dec. 30, 2023, Russian forces launched at least one of these North Korean missiles into Ukraine,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters, adding that Russia launched further missiles days later.

The first missile landed in an open field. The U.S. is still assessing the damage caused by the second launch, Kirby said during a White House briefing.

“We anticipate that Russia will use additional North Korean missiles to target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and to kill innocent Ukrainian civilians,” he continued.

The partnership between the two countries is a result of their shared isolation on the global stage, and shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin has been forced to seek new avenues to support his offensive in Ukraine.

Kirby also confirmed Tuesday that Russia is seeking Iranian missiles, which was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The missiles would enhance the Kremlin’s ability to target Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and could be delivered to Russia as soon as the spring, but U.S. officials don’t believe the deal has been finalized.

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