Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Matt Watts

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to visit North Korea amid weapons supply claims

Russia’s foreign minister will visit North Korea this week, days after the United States claimed Pyongyang had delivered munitions and military equipment to Russia for use in the fighting in Ukraine.

The ministry said Sergei Lavrov will be in North Korea on Wednesday and Thursday, but did not specify any meetings or the aims of the trip.

The White House said on Friday that more than 1,000 containers of equipment and ammunition have been sent to Russia from North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un travelled to Russia last month to meet President Vladimir Putin and visit key military sites, triggering speculation about a possible North Korean plan to refill Russia’s munition stores that have been drained by the protracted conflict with Ukraine.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the US believes Mr Kim is seeking sophisticated Russian weapons technologies in return for the munitions to boost North Korea’s military and nuclear programme.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend a meeting in Beijing (via REUTERS)

The White House released images that it said show the containers were loaded onto a Russian-flagged ship before being moved via train to south-western Russia.

The containers were shipped between September 7 and October 1, according to the White House.

Mr Lavrov was in Beijing on Monday ahead of an expected visit by Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin is expected to attend the Belt and Road Forum in the Chinese capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, his first trip outside Russia since the Hague-based International Criminal Court issued a warrant for him in March over the deportation of children from Ukraine.

On Monday China's foreign minister Wang Yi met with Mr Lavrov and exchanged views on the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The urgent task is a ceasefire and building of a humanitarian aid channel, Wang said in the meeting.

Mr Wang also urged China and Russia to deepen strategic mutual trust, his ministry said.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.