NK Pro, a publication that investigates the situation in North Korea, published a report on February 29, citing satellite imagery that Russian ships involved in the maritime transportation of North Korean munitions and weapons to Russia have not called at the North Korean port of Rajin since February 12, the Institute for War Studies quoted.

NK Pro said that since August 2023, Russian ships have made at least 32 voyages between the port of Rajin and the Russian ports of Dunay and Vostochny in Primorsky Krai. From January 30 to February 8, the Russian cargo ship Lady R transported an unspecified number of sea containers between North Korea and Russia, allegedly containing North Korean ammunition and weapons, and the cargo ship Maya-1 arrived at the Russian port of Vostochny from North Korea on February 12.

According to Korean researchers, satellite imagery has not captured any large cargo vessels traveling between the two piers or new shipments to the Rajin port since February 12, and suggested that the pause may be due to production problems in North Korea or other logistical issues. NK Pro notes that North Korea may also be transporting weapons to Russia by air or rail.

The Institute for the Study of War has previously reported that Russia is using the Baikal-Amur Railway and the East Siberian Railway to facilitate the transportation of goods to and from China and North Korea, countries whose economic and military support Russia is increasingly relying on to support its military efforts in Ukraine.

On February 6, 2024, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said that in recent months, North Korea has sent approximately 6,700 shipping containers of ammunition to Russia. Shin said these containers could contain more than three million 152-mm artillery shells or about 500,000 122-mm shells.

Read more on this topic: Kharkiv prosecutors showed wreckage of likely North Korean missile launched by Russia at the city on January 2, 2024.

According to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Investigation Department of the National Police in Kharkiv region, the Russian military uses weapons of North Korean origin when shelling the region.

After a mortar attack on the village of Vovchanski Khutory, Chuhuiv district, a fragment with Korean inscriptions was found on the territory of a farm.

The Russian army launched a rocket attack in the center of Kharkiv on January 2, injuring 62 people and killing two others. According to the regional prosecutor’s office, conventional Iskander missiles did not target the city. Experts and law enforcement officers have now established the differences between the missiles regarding appearance and technical features.

Dmytro Chubenko, a spokesman for the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office, said that these missiles probably resemble the ammunition seen in photos of military parades in North Korea.

The Hwasong-6 is a tactical ballistic missile produced by the DPRK defense industry. The first of three successful rocket test launches was conducted in June 1990. By 1999, North Korea was estimated to have produced 600 to 1,000 of these munitions, of which 25 were test-fired, 300 to 500 were exported, and 300 to 600 were in service with the North Korean army. Hwasong-6s have been exported to Iran, known as Shahab-2s, and to Syria, where they are produced under licence with Chinese assistance.

Another missile produced by the DPRK, the Hwasong-11GA, has similar external features to the Iskander missile.

The North Korean ballistic missile KN-23 (Hwasong-11GA) is very similar visually to the Iskander, so analysts believe that it may be a copy of the Russian missile.

According to experts, the KN-23 uses the same chassis as the Russian missile, manufactured by the Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant (MZKT). However, at the same time, the North Korean missile has a longer range (690 kilometers) than the Russian missile, which has a range of 500 kilometers. At the same time, the characteristics are largely based on assumptions and were determined from photos and test results.

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