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Seoul: N. Korean munitions production for Russia "full capacity"

TOKYO, Feb 27 (KUNA) -- South Korea's Defense Minister Shin Won-sik stated that North Korean munitions factories were operating at full capacity to supply weapons to Russia in exchange for much-needed food and other necessities, Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday.
"While North Korea's arms factories operate at 30 percent capacity due to shortages of raw materials and power, certain factories are operating at full capacity, which primarily produce weapons and shells for Russia," Shin said in a meeting with reporters. According to the report, Shin made the assessment as concerns have heightened about North Korea's alleged arms supply to Russia for its war in Ukraine while the war-torn nation is facing shortages of munitions due to delayed Western military aid.
North Korea is estimated to have shipped around 6,700 containers to Russia since the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in September, the minister said.
The amount is enough to accommodate approximately 3 million rounds of 152 mm artillery shells or 500,000 of 122 mm artillery shells In return for supplying weapons to Russia, Shin said North Korea appears to be receiving food and other necessities, as well as raw materials and parts used in weapons manufacturing, the minister added. "The volume of containers from Russia to North Korea is presumed to be approximately 30 percent larger than those shipped from North Korea to Russia over the period," he noted.
The minister said Moscow is also likely to have provided satellite-related technology to Pyongyang as the country put its first spy satellite into orbit in November and vowed to launch three more this year.
Adding, If Russia's dependence on North Korean munitions and weapons grows, Shin anticipated the extent of Russia's military technology assistance is likely to broaden in the future. (end) mk.zhm