These purchases, intended to further the war effort in Ukraine, are ongoing according to U.S. intelligence

The Russian Defense Ministry is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery munitions from North Korea for its ongoing fight in Ukraine, according to a recent declassified U.S. intelligence finding.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence in question, said Monday that Russia’s turning to the isolated state of North Korea demonstrates that “the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, in part due to export controls and sanctions.”

U.S. intelligence officials believe the Russians may seek to purchase additional North Korean military equipment in the future. The intelligence finding was first reported by the New York Times.

This comes after the Biden administration recently confirmed that the Russian military had Iranian-made drones delivered in August for use on the battlefield in Ukraine.

The White House said last week that Russia had encountered technical problems with Iranian-made drones acquired from Tehran in August for use in its war with Ukraine.

Russia recovered Mohajer-6 and Shahed series drones over several days last month as part of what the Biden administration says is likely part of a Russian plan to acquire hundreds of Iranian drones for use in Ukraine.

North Korea has sought closer relations with Russia as much of Europe and the West has pulled back, blaming the United States for the Ukraine crisis and decrying the West’s “hegemonic policy” as justification for Russian military action in Ukraine to protect itself.

The North Koreans have expressed interest in sending construction workers to help rebuild Russian-occupied territories in the east.

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North Korea’s ambassador to Moscow recently met with representatives of two Russian-backed separatist territories in Ukraine’s Donbass region and expressed optimism about cooperation in the “field of labor migration,” citing the relaxation of his country’s border controls in connection with the pandemic.

In July, North Korea became the only nation besides Russia and Syria to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk territories, further aligning itself with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.