North Korea may bolster Russia’s munitions for its war against Ukraine, but that is not likely to make a huge difference, a top American military officer said on Saturday (September 16).
U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who arrived in Norway for NATO meetings that began Saturday, said that the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who is on his visit to Russia will probably lead North Korea to provide Soviet-era 152 mm artillery rounds to Moscow.
“Would it have a huge difference? I’m skeptical of that,” Milley told reporters traveling with him. He said that while he does not want to play down the weapons assistance too much, “I doubt that it would be decisive.”
Analysts have speculated that Kim may provide ammunition to Russia in exchange for receiving advanced weapons or technology from Russia.
Milley and the other defense chiefs from NATO countries are meeting at the Holmenkollen ski area on the edge of Oslo over the next several days to discuss support for Ukraine and other regional defense issues. From there, Milley will attend the monthly meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany on Tuesday. That group, led by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, is the main international forum for drumming up military support for Ukraine.
The NATO meetings come as the Ukraine forces make slow progress inching ahead in a counteroffensive against Russia.
“History will show Ukraine has transformed modern warfare and they are moving forward every day. Every success is one step closer to victory,” Adm. Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, the chair of the NATO Military Committee, said on Saturday.
“The Russian forces keep losing more and more ground, and the whole of Russia is suffering under the impact of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation,” he added.
Milley highlighted the need for more weapons in Ukraine and the allies will discuss how to address it. He said he believes there continues to be broad, bipartisan support in the United States and the U.S. Congress for the aid.
(With AP inputs)