Ukraine claims that Russia launched 24 North Korean missiles

Ukrainian Prosecutor General confirms Russia fired 24 North Korean missiles at Ukraine. Investigations are ongoing. Biden administration cites Russian arms procurement from North Korea and Iran amid conflict. EU proposes sanctions.

According to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, Ukraine has been targeted by at least 24 ballistic missiles of North Korean origin fired by Russia since late December.


Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin informed reporters on Friday that the missiles used in the attacks on Ukraine, between December 30 and February 7, have preliminarily been identified as Kn-23/24. He stated that these attacks, which targeted seven regions including Kyiv and Kharkiv, resulted in multiple fatalities. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s Armaments Research Institute and the prosecutor general’s office have confirmed the information regarding the likely origin of the missiles. Specialists analyzed various aspects such as tracking data, flight path, level of destruction, debris, marking, and symbols of the projectiles. They concluded that the rockets possess larger diameters compared to related Russian and Soviet-era models.
The official expressed doubts about the accuracy of the missiles, stating that only two out of the approximately two dozen missiles hit their intended targets. These targets were identified as Ukraine’s Kremenchuk oil refinery and the Kanatove airfield, both located in the central region. According to Kostin, the remaining missiles either deviated from their intended path or exploded in the air.
The prosecutor general’s office is currently conducting an ongoing investigation into the missiles and their components, with plans to release the findings soon. Thus far, the agency lacks information regarding the quantity of shells already delivered to Russia by Kim Jong Un’s regime or any planned future deliveries.
In early January, U.S. intelligence confirmed Russia’s utilization of North Korean missiles over Ukraine.

The Biden administration has emphasized Russia’s efforts to procure equipment from nations such as Iran and North Korea. They argue that sanctions, along with the military efforts of Ukraine and its allies, have depleted Russian military resources, necessitating additional arms shipments from the U.S.

In September, Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in eastern Russia, which the U.S. claimed were centred on advancing arms deals between their nations. In January, Putin had discussions with North Korea’s foreign minister, potentially paving the way for further arms transfers. Additionally, Putin pledged to strengthen ties with Iran in January following a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
According to documents seen by Bloomberg this week, the European Union has proposed sanctions against North Korea for supplying missiles to Russia, which were subsequently used in attacks against Ukraine.

It is widely acknowledged that ballistic missiles, including those originating from North Korea, are challenging to intercept. The U.S. Patriot battery stands out as the sole air defence system capable of reliably countering this type of weaponry.