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Traffic on the North Korea-Russia borders increases

The capacity of the traffic of trains along the border between North Korea and Russian Federation has increased to its highest level in recent years. This suggests that Pyongyang’s arms shipments to Moscow did take place.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a week-long summit in Russia’s Far East last month. In the course of meeting were discussed military matters, the Ukraine crisis and deepening military and economic cooperation between the two nations.

“Given that Kim and Putin discussed some military exchanges and cooperation at their recent summit, the dramatic increase in rail traffic likely indicates North Korea’s supply of arms and munitions to Russia,” the think tank said, although it could not be sure due to the extensive use of tarps to cover the rail cars. However, an “unprecedented” 73 or so freight cars have piled up at Tumangang railway station in the North Korean border town of Rason, according to a report by the Beyond the Parallel Project of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The U.S. and South Korea believe that military cooperation between North Korea and Russia is a violation of U.N. sanctions not in Pyongyang’s favour. The concern stems from the fact that Russia receives ammunition to replenish its reserves while North Korea receives technological assistance to improve its satellite and missile systems.

North Korea condemned South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol remarks, stating it was “natural” and “normal” for neighbours to keep close relations.

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