South Korea Urges Russia to Halt Arms Deal with North Korea Amid Sanctions Violations

SEOUL -- South Korea has intensified its demand for Russia to cease arms transactions with North Korea, a move seen as a violation of international sanctions. This development follows the United States' disclosure of North Korea's recent delivery of ballistic missiles and missile launchers to Moscow. According to the White House, North Korea supplied several dozen ballistic missiles and missile launchers to Russia, some of which were utilized in recent attacks on Ukraine.

According to Yonhap News Agency, In Washington, a U.S. official confirmed that North Korea has been sending ballistic missiles and launchers to Russia, defying warnings from the U.S., South Korea, and other nations. These actions contravene multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. Meanwhile, the U.S. has designated North Korea, among other countries, for religious freedom violations for the 22nd consecutive year.

In a related development, the nominee for director of South Korea's spy agency identified Kim Jong-un's daughter, Ju-ae, as his most probable successor, marking the agency's first public assessment of her potential leadership role. Ju-ae has been increasingly visible at military events since her first public appearance in November 2022.

Furthermore, South Korea and U.S. troops conducted a joint live-fire exercise near the North Korean border, engaging South Korea's Capital Mechanized Infantry Division and the U.S. Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The exercise, aimed at enhancing joint combat readiness, took place in the border city of Pocheon.

An expert in Seoul suggested that North Korea's actions aim to escalate military tensions in order to gain recognition as a nuclear state from the United States. This follows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's declaration of inter-Korean relations as hostile, and his preparation for a significant event to suppress South Korea in case of an emergency.

In response to these tensions, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced plans to complete a strengthened "extended deterrence" regime with the United States by the first half of 2024, aiming to address North Korea's nuclear and missile threats directly.

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