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If filled with 152-millimeter artillery shells, the containers could carry up to three million shells, South Korea’s defense minister said. Or, if filled with 122-millimeter rockets, they could hold more than half a million shells . They could also contain a mix of both weapons, he said. In his latest estimate, Minister Shin Wok-sik last week put the number of containers shipped from North Korea to Russia at 10,000.

Additionally, the White House said in January that Russia had begun firing ballistic missiles made in North Korea. Arms control experts said fragments of the Hwasong-11A short-range ballistic missile were found following months-long Russian airstrikes on Ukrainian cities, including Kharkiv in February. North Korea could also provide anti-tank missiles and man-portable surface-to-air missiles, as well as rifles, rocket launchers, mortars and projectiles, South Korean military officials told reporters in November.

Both Moscow and Pyongyang deny the arms trade, banned under sanctions imposed by the United Nations on North Korea.

The war in Ukraine is a war of attrition, with Russia and Ukraine trying to outdo each other, firing thousands of artillery shells, missiles and rockets every day. This means that all the munitions supplied by North Korea help Russia maintain an advantage over Ukraine.

The Hwasong-11A series missiles, in particular, have a high degree of accuracy and are difficult to shoot down, experts said.

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