Head of the SVR Naryshkin spent three days in Pyongyang

The head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, paid a three-day visit to North Korea. The official North Korean news agency KCNA reported this on Thursday, information subsequently confirmed in SVR.

The visit took place against the backdrop of reports of supplies of ammunition from the DPRK to Russia and oil from Russia to the DPRK – in violation of international sanctions.

As stated in the KCNA report, the visit took place on March 25-27, the parties discussed in Pyongyang “business issues to further strengthen cooperation in response to the intrigues of hostile forces.” The report also says that the Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs of the DPRK, Yun Jong-ho, went to Moscow for negotiations.

The SVR reported that Naryshkin in Pyongyang discussed “deepening interaction in the face of attempts to increase pressure from external forces,” and the negotiations took place “in a warm, friendly atmosphere.”

The Financial Times recently reported that Russia began directly supplying oil to North Korea, despite UN sanctions against Pyongyang. According to the publication, oil deliveries began on March 7 – these are the first documented deliveries since the introduction of UN sanctions. At least five North Korean oil tankers left the Russian port of Vostochny in the Far East in March, according to satellite imagery. The two ships then headed to the North Korean port of Chongjin, where they apparently unloaded, the Financial Times writes.

  • Presumably in August last year, the DPRK began supplying Russia with ammunition that was used by Moscow in the war with Ukraine.
  • In February, The New York Times reported that Russia, in exchange for ammunition, allowed the DPRK to gain access to the global financial system, and also unblocked some of the North Korean assets that were subject to UN sanctions. In addition, sources say that Moscow has allowed Pyongyang to open a bank account in the territory of partially recognized South Ossetia. Georgia considers this territory occupied by Russia.
  • In October 2023, White House National Security Advisor John Kirby said that North Korea had provided Russia with a shipment of weapons. The White House released a photo that allegedly shows a shipment of ammunition from a warehouse in the DPRK. The weapons were loaded onto a Russian-flagged ship and sent to a warehouse on Russia’s southwestern border.
  • Seven member countries of the UN Security Council accused Russia of violating the embargo on military-technical cooperation with Pyongyang.
  • United States on Wednesday announced on imposing sanctions on six individuals and two companies based in Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of transferring funds to North Korea’s weapons program. The list includes North Korean citizens, as well as Vladivostok-based Alis and UAE-registered Pioneer Bencont Star Real Estate. The US Treasury said in a statement that both companies are part of the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation, which is linked to North Korea’s military. Sanctions were introduced against her earlier.
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  • Source of information and images “independent”

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