Kim Jong Un gets rid of junk: expert points out important nuance of DPRK's supply of shells to Putin's troops
According to Ukraine's military intelligence, North Korea has been supplying Russia with 122-mm and 152-mm artillery shells, as well as missiles for Grad multiple launch rocket systems and ammunition for tanks for at least a month and a half. However, these shells, most of which are likely to have been produced in the 1960s and 1970s, could pose a problem for the Russian army.
Unser the guise of helping Moscow, Pyongyang is likely to get rid of ammunition that has expired and or may explode right in the barrels. This opinion was expressed by military expert Mykhailo Zhyrokhov in an interview with OBOZREVATEL.
He noted that North Korea is getting rid of surplus property by handing over ammunition to Russia.
"North Korea hasn't been at war since 1953, but it has been accumulating shells and all ammunition in warehouses since then. The North Korean-made ammunition I saw in the photos was produced in the 1960s and 1970s. Thus, North Korea is getting rid of surplus property, meaning shells that have expired. They are handing them over to the Russians," Zhyrokhov said.
He emphasized that Pyongyang is handing over certain types of shells to Moscow, mainly 122- and 152-mm.
"They are of reduced effect, high explosive and fragmentation. Russia needs only some types of shells that they have already used during the fighting. First of all, we are talking about long-range shells, i.e. those that can hit targets at a great distance. This is how they try to compensate for the lack of long-range weapons because our 155-millimeter artillery can shoot further than the Russians. Therefore, they primarily use these long-range shells, which they run out of very quickly," the expert emphasized.
At the same time, Zhyrokhov noted that he has not seen any evidence of Russia receiving tank shells made in North Korea.
"There was a video of Russians using North Korean shells for Grads, but they were also not in the best condition. They were rusty, made in the 1950s," the expert added.
He was skeptical about the significance of North Korean assistance to enhance the combat capability of the Russian army as the invaders may have additional problems.
"Such shells may not explode each time go or even pose a danger to their own crew as the shell can explode right in the barrel at any moment. This problem is well known to the Ukrainian army because we started using shells from the 1960s and 1970s in 2014. There have been a very large number of cases when self-propelled artillery pieces and shells exploded right in the barrel," Zhyrokhov suggested.
But even if the North Korean ammunition performs its functions, Russia will have problems with logistics.
"The Russian army may indeed be reinforced by North Korea, as the DPRK has a lot of such shells. But it's hard to say how much this will affect the frontline. Don't forget about logistics. After all, there are only two ways of supply from North Korea to Russia: either transit, i.e., the railroad, which is already overcrowded with military trains, or transportation by military transport aircraft. However, then these shells will be golden," the military expert noted.
The United States is concerned about the rapprochement between Russia and the DPRK and stated that the primary topic of the talks between the two dictators is the supply of ammunition from North Korea for the Russian occupation army fighting in Ukraine. The Kremlin may pay for them by transferring some military technologies to Pyongyang, Washington fears.
Meanwhile, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov said that the DPRK has been supplying Russia with ammunition for a month and a half.