Don’t be concerned over one million artillery shells North Korea sent Russia, only 4% are in working condition – Dykyi

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Pyongyang, October 19, 2023
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Pyongyang, October 19, 2023

The one million artillery shells that North Korea sent to Russia should not cause undue concern, former Aidar Battalion company commander Yevhen Dykyi told Radio NV on Nov. 3.

Russia produces about 1.1 million shells a year, and North Korea has sent almost the same number to Russia, "but… one million European or American shells and one million North Korean shells, as they say in my beloved Odesa, are two very big differences [in quality]."

Read also: Former Aidar leader warns Ukraine fighting troop shortages, mobilization not offsetting mounting casualties

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "decided to flex his muscles" and ordered 2,400 shells to be fired at a deserted island in 2020.

"Of those 2,400 shells, only 400 reached the island. And of those 400, about 80 exploded. So now we take the quality of Korean production [into consideration], 4% of the shells fired actually exploded where they were supposed to. Now, we multiply one million by 4%, and we get what kind of real help comrade Un was able to give comrade Putin," Dykyi explained, suggesting that North Korea only provided Russia with about 40,000 working shells.

Dykyi suggested that the Pyongyang instructors may have come along with the shells because "Russian artillerymen may simply be afraid to use these ‘masterpieces of the neighboring defense industr’y because it is not known how many of them exploded right in the guns.”

Read also: North Korean arms transfers to Russia exceed similar transfers from EU to Ukraine

North Korea sent more than one million artillery shells to Russia, which are expected to supply Russia for about two months, reported Bloomberg on Nov. 1.

Over the past two months, Russian ships have repeatedly picked up cargo from North Korea and delivered it to a Russian military port, new satellite images published on Oct. 16 by the Washington Post show.

Pyongyang has reportedly supplied Moscow with artillery shells and Katyusha-type rockets.

North Korea may have supplied Russia with short-range ballistic missiles and portable anti-aircraft missiles in addition to artillery shells for its war in Ukraine, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Nov 2, citing a senior South Korean military official. Pyongyang may have also have supplied other weapons to Russia, including T-series tank ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers, rifles and machine guns, and possibly short-range ballistic missiles.

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