Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that a potential arms deal between North Korea and Russia may not make a big difference in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Would it have a huge difference? I’m skeptical of that,” Milley said Friday, according to The Associated Press. “I doubt that it would be decisive.”
But, Milley said a recent meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will likely lead to an arms deal between the countries.
Defense analysts have speculated that North Korea would send small arms to Russia in exchange for advanced weapons and satellite technologies.
“What we’re seeing right now is Russia in quite a desperate mode and seeking support from North Korea,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said Thursday. “Providing any type of ammunition would further continue the war.”
The summit between the leaders this week came as North Korea ratchets up its military pressure on the U.S. and South Korea. The North has launched numerous missile tests in recent months and christened its first nuclear-capable submarine last week.
Meanwhile, Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine which has now raged on for over a year and a half. Gripped by western sanctions, Russia is reportedly on the defensive against a western-equipped Ukrainian military during its late-summer counteroffensive.
Milley is in Oslo, Norway to meet with other NATO leaders this weekend to discuss support for Ukraine and other security issues.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., in the upcoming week and meet with President Biden and members of Congress. The visit comes after the U.S. announced $1 billion in additional support for Ukraine, but also as continued support for the war effort is politically divided.
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