North Korea's Kim visits arms factories amid criticism over trade with Russia

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited arms factories this week, state media outlet KCNA reported on Wednesday, as the United States and its partners condemned the country’s arms transfers with Russia.

Kim also highlighted recent “shortcomings” in the organization of munitions production and called for readjustment while emphasizing the “strategic importance of the production of major weapons,” state media said.

KCNA photos of Kim’s visit to a munitions factory showed him inspecting mobile short-range missile launch vehicles.

His visit comes as nearly 50 countries condemned Russia’s procurement and use of North Korean ballistic missiles against Ukraine.

“Russia’s use of DPRK ballistic missiles in Ukraine also provides valuable technical and military insights to the DPRK,” the joint statement said on Tuesday, using the initials for North Korea’s official name.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan in a call with his South Korean counterpart, Chang Ho-jin, on Tuesday “condemned in the strongest possible terms” North Korea’s transfer of the missiles to Russia, the White House said.


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