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US renews concerns over NK-Russia military cooperation

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Matthew Miller, U.S. State Department spokesperson, speaks during a press briefing at the department in Washington on Oct. 30. Yonhap

The U.S. Department of State reiterated its concerns Monday over military cooperation between North Korea and Russia, as Pyongyang is gearing up for a space rocket launch to put a military spy satellite into orbit.

Pyongyang has notified Japan's Coast Guard of a plan to conduct the launch between Nov. 22 and Dec. 1, Japanese media reported, despite Seoul's warning against what would be its third such launch attempt this year.

"I will say that our concerns about North Korea's ballistic missile program and other military programs are well known, our concerns about the transfer of technology between Russia and North Korea — whether it's Russia providing North Korea with technology or whether it's North Korea providing arms to Russia — are also well known," Matthew Miller, the department's spokesperson, told a press briefing.

"Those transfers in some cases violate multiple U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, including resolutions that Russia itself voted for, and we will continue to monitor them closely and take whatever actions are appropriate with our allies in the region to monitor and respond to North Korea's destabilizing behavior," he added.

Miller reiterated the position when asked to comment on South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's remarks in an interview with The Telegraph, a British daily, that China is likely to consider that pursuing cooperation with North Korea and Russia, which have violated UNSC resolutions and other international norms, will not be helpful for its reputation.

"I will just say that our position is very clear, which is that Russia should not supply North Korea with technology that would violate UNSC resolutions, (and) North Korea should not supply Russia with arms that it can use to prosecute its war of aggression against Ukraine," he said.

"That is our position with respect to any country in the world," he added.

Pyongyang's launch plan comes amid speculation that Russia might have provided military technology and support to the North in return for the North's supply of military equipment and munitions for use in the war in Ukraine.

The North initially planed to make a third launch attempt in October following two botched launches -- in August and May. But it did not press ahead with the plan last month, raising speculation that it might need more preparation time. (Yonhap)


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