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UPDATE 1-N.Korea says it has never supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia -KCNA

·1 min read

(Adds North Korea statement, background)

By Joori Roh

SEOUL, Sept 22 (Reuters) - North Korea on Thursday said it has never supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia and does not plan to do so in the future, according to a statement released by the state media KCNA.

"Recently, the U.S. and other hostile forces talked about the 'violation of a resolution' of the UNSC, spreading a "rumor of arms dealings" between the DPRK and Russia ... We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them," KCNA quoted the country's vice director general of the General Bureau of Equipment of the Ministry of National Defence as saying in a statement without naming him.

U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel earlier this month said that Russia "is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use in Ukraine."

Calling it a "potential purchase", White House national security spokesperson John Kirby clarified that there were "no indications that purchase has been completed and certainly no indications that those weapons are being used inside of Ukraine."

North Korea, in Thursday's statement, warned the United States to "keep its mouth shut" and stop circulating such rumour, which seems to be "aimed at tarnishing (the country's) image." (Reporting by Joori Roh Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)