Train crosses North Korea border into Russia after arms report, think tank says

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – A train crossed from North Korea to Russia on Friday, two days after the United States said it had information that Pyongyang was supplying Russian terrorists with ammunition for its war in Ukraine, a Washington think tank said, citing commercial satellite images.

The 38 North project, which monitors developments in North Korea, said it was the first time such a train movement had been seen on the track in several years, although Russia’s veterinary service reported on Wednesday that the train had crossed border to North Korea carried horses. .

“It is impossible to know the purpose of the train from the picture, but the crossing comes amid reports of arms sales from North Korea to Russia and the general expectation of reviving trade between the two countries,” 38 North said.

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It said that North Korea closed the 800-meter (yard) Tumangang Friendship Bridge (Korea-Russia Friendship Bridge), the only land link between the countries, in January 2020 during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The report said that at 10:24 am local time (0124 GMT) a set of three loaded train cars were visible on the side of the Korean border, and at 1:10 pm local time (0410 GMT ) seemed to have entered. Russia behind the train, about 200 meters (yards) from the end of the railway bridge.

At 2:29 pm (0529 GMT) three trains and trains were visible on the tracks at Russia’s Khasan Station, about 2 kilometers from the border, and three small covered cars, or containers which could be on flatcars, were parked next to a train that had just arrived on a nearby track.

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The report said: “It was not known whether the transfer of goods was in progress, and whether the stops of this set of trains were unrelated.”

The White House said on Wednesday that Washington had information showing that North Korea was secretly supplying Russia with a “significant” number of artillery shells for its war in Ukraine and was trying to hide the shipment by forwarding it to countries in the Middle East and North Africa. .

North Korea said in September that it has not supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia and has no plans to do so. read more

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According to a statement from the Russian state veterinary service on Wednesday, Russia and North Korea started a train journey for the first time since the epidemic with 30 gray “Orlov Trotter” horses to North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is known as an avid horse rider. He was shown in 2019 by North Korean media riding a white horse through the snow of the mountains. Russian customs data shows that North Korea has spent thousands of dollars on horses from Russia over the years.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Edited by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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