White House urges N. Korea not to provide weapons to Russia

The White House called on North Korea not to provide any weapons to Russia on Monday, ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's widely anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council (NSC), underscored that the two countries will likely continue discussing a potential arms deal during Kim's ongoing trip to Russia.

"As we have warned publicly, arms discussions between Russia and the DPRK are expected to continue during Kim Jong-Un's trip to Russia," Watson told Yonhap News Agency when asked to comment on Kim's visit to Russia.

"We urge the DPRK to abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia," she added.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

Pyongyang reported earlier that Kim will soon visit Russia at the invitation of Putin.

South Korean officials said a special train believed to be carrying the reclusive North Korean leader appeared to have left for Russia.

NSC coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby noted the possibility of an arms deal between Pyongyang and Moscow, citing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's trip to Pyongyang in July, which he said was followed by a trip of some 20 Russian officials to North Korea.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stressed that any arms deal between North Korea and Russia would directly violate United Nations Security Council resolutions that prohibit any arms trade with North Korea.

"(An) arms deal between the DPRK and Russia would directly violate a number of U.N. Security Council resolutions. We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia, and we are taking action directly to exposing and sanctioning individuals and entities working to facilitate arm deals between Russia and the DPRK," Jean-Pierre said earlier.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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