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Rep. Young Kim

Feb 16, 2024 | Uncategorized

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-40), who serves as Chairwoman of the Indo-Pacific Subcommittee, led a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to demand answers on the State Department’s actions in response to the Russia-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) relationship.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Europe Subcommittee Chairman Tom Kean (NJ-07), Middle East Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02), and Rep. Nathaniel Moran (TX-01) joined Chairwoman Kim in the letter.

The members voice concern with the DPRK providing Russia weapons to assist in Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and whether Russia will violate international agreements to provide Kim Jong Un with weapons and technologies to grow its ballistic missile capabilities.

They also ask the State Department several questions on the Russia-DPRK relationship, whether the People’s Republic of China has played a role in transferring North Korean weapons to Russia and U.S. strategy to respond in coordination with our allies and partners.

Find the letter HERE or read highlights below.

We write you to express deep concern with the latest developments in the Russia-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) relationship and inquire about actions the State Department is taking in response to DPRK’s provision of weapons to the Russian military.

Following a summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the DPRK agreed to provide Russia with weapons to support Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russia received and used DPRK ballistic missiles in Ukraine and public reporting suggests that DPRK provided Russia with shipments of ammunition and artillery shells.

Russia formerly joined the U.S. at the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo on DPRK in response to Pyongyang’s first nuclear tests, but since the invasion of Ukraine has actively sought to circumvent international sanctions and arms embargos. Given this behavior, it also concerns us that Russia, in violation of the arms embargo and its obligations under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), may provide the rogue Kim regime with weapons and technologies that bolster its erratic behavior and further threaten our national security. These concerns are increasingly acute given the DPRK’s recent test of nuclear capable strategic cruise missiles and advanced ballistic missiles that put U.S. bases in the region within range of advanced DPRK strike capabilities.

These developments in the Russia-DPRK relationship warrant the full attention of the State Department.

We ask for a prompt reply to the following questions:

  1. Is your Department concerned that Russia will provide advanced ballistic missile and cruise missile technology to the DPRK?
  2. Is your Department aware of any Russian efforts to provide these types of advanced materials to the DPRK?
  3. In your assessment, is the People’s Republic of China (PRC) playing in any role in the transfer of North Korean weapons to Russia?
  4. Was Russian technology, materials, design data, and/or technical knowledge used to advance any of the DPRK’s strategic or tactical missile capabilities over the past few years?
  5. Is your Department aware of any Russian plans or past activity to provide technology, materials, design data, and/or technical knowledge to advance the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program? What actions is the State Department taking to block the DPRK-Russian trade of advanced weapons?
  6. Is your Department engaging with allies and partners with a shared interest in nonproliferation of this technology about these concerns?
  7. Does your Department assess Russia to still be adhere to obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime? 
    1. Are you concerned that Russia’s role in the MTCR, a consensus-based export control regime, will inhibit the U.S. and partner efforts to develop key capabilities to counter an increasingly aggressive China, Russia, DPRK, and Iran?

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