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S. Korea calls on Russia to 'transparently explain' its dealing with N. Korea amid suspected arms supply agreement

Sept. 22, 2023 - 20:36 By Yonhap

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of their talks at the Vostochny Cosmodrome space launch center in the Russian Far East on Sept. 13 in the photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (Yonhap)

South Korea's foreign ministry on Friday called on Russia to "transparently explain" its recent dealings with North Korea amid growing speculation of an arms supply deal at last week's bilateral summit.

"If it (Moscow) will not engage in such worrisome military cooperation with North Korea, Russia should transparently explain (its dealings with North Korea) so that the international community could find it acceptable," a ministry official said.

The comments were made in response to a statement made by the Russian Embassy in Seoul on the previous day upon President Yoon Suk Yeol's speech condemning military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow at the United Nations General Assembly this week.

In a Facebook message in English, the embassy expressed "deep regret" that Yoon "joined the propaganda campaign initiated by Washington and picked up by the American and South Korean media aimed at discrediting Russian-North Korean cooperation."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit at the Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East last Wednesday, raising concerns the North may have reached a deal to supply ammunition for Russia's war in Ukraine in exchange for food aid and the transfer of weapons technology. (Yonhap)