US 'taking a hard look' at North Korea-Russia missile cooperation

US 'taking a hard look' at North Korea-Russia missile cooperation

'It is a matter of concern and it is a matter that we're very much looking into,' says White House

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US is closely scrutinizing any potential ballistic missile development assistance that Russia may be providing to North Korea, the White House said Friday.

"It's something our intelligence community is taking a hard look at," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at Camp David as US President Joe Biden hosted his Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

"This is also a dynamic picture, because as we have seen, Russia has been seeking to get materiel for its war effort in Ukraine from Pyongyang, from North Korea, and as they have done with other countries like Iran, when they ask they usually also offer some types of security cooperation in return," he added.

Sullivan maintained that the US is not yet asserting that any exchange of Russian technology has taken place, but said "it is a matter of concern and it is a matter that we're very much looking into."

The warning came in the wake of a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, that suggested North Korea's July 12 test of its Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile was enabled by technological cooperation with Russia.

The White House has repeatedly pointed to existing UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korea's development of ballistic missile and nuclear technology as it seeks to call out Russia for what it says is increasing military cooperation with Pyongyang.

Sullivan echoed the statements, saying: "Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council."

"It has a heightened responsibility to comply with those Security Council resolutions, and to the extent it is not doing so, including with respect to ballistic missile defense technology and other things, Russia would be, you know, flouting, and in flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions," he said.

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