Russian military aircraft mysteriously appeared in North Korea

Photos from a flight tracking site show that the Russian military’s Ilyushin IL-62M aircraft seems to have appeared in North Korea but the purpose is unknown.

Bloomberg reports data from flight tracking channel FlightRadar24 shows that the Russian Air Force Ilyushin IL-62M aircraft appears to have moved from Moscow to Pyongyang on July 31 and returned on August 2.  

Satellite images show the plane appears to have been parked at Pyongyang’s international airport for about 36 hours, according to NK News, a South Korea-based news website that tracks activities in North Korea.

Neither Russia nor North Korea have commented on the presence of this plane. The Ilyushin IL-62M is an aircraft that the Russian Air Force often uses to carry important people or equipment. According to Bloomberg, this is considered a VIP aircraft of the Russian military.

The arrival of the Ilyushin IL-62M in North Korea comes a few days after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pyongyang on a similar plane on July 25.

Last week, John Kirby, the US Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, suggested that North Korea may be considering supplying Russia with more weapons, including ammunition that would be used in the ongoing war in North Korea. Ukraine.

“Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently traveled to North Korea in an attempt to persuade Pyongyang to sell weapons to Moscow to support hostilities,” Kirby alleged.

“Our information indicates that Russia is seeking to increase military cooperation with North Korea, such as through North Korea’s sale of ammunition to Russia,” Kirby said.

Kirby said the US would continue to detect and punish Russia’s efforts to support the war in Ukraine. “Of course, any arms deal between North Korea and Russia would be in direct violation of a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he said.

“And we will continue to identify and counter Russian attempts to buy ammunition from North Korea or any other country that may be willing to support Moscow’s war in Ukraine,” he said.

This is not the first time the US has accused North Korea of ​​supplying weapons to Russia. In March, the United States accused Russia of being able to come up with a deal that would provide Pyongyang with much-needed food and other goods in return for military weapons.

Russia and North Korea have previously repeatedly denied accusations from the US and Western media about arms sales between Moscow and Pyongyang. 

Russia has also repeatedly denied that it is running out of weapons in the war with Ukraine. 

Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said on July 24 that the monthly production of ammunition of the Russian defense industry has surpassed the output of the whole year of 2022.

“Since the beginning of this year, the production of various weapons and special military equipment has exceeded the total of last year. If we only talk about ammunition, Russia has reached the level where the output of goods has been reached. month surpassing the total output in 2022,” he emphasized.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on July 11 that compared to the time when the war with Ukraine broke out, the number of Orlan reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) handed over to the country’s military has increased 53 times. .

On the other hand, Minister Shoigu said that the number of modern weapons delivered on government orders has increased more than 5 times in 2023 compared to the beginning of 2022 and 1.8 times since March 2022.

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