The US says North Korea will continue to supply arms to the Wagner Group’s mercenaries in Ukraine – as it released a photo showing a shipment of rockets and missiles being assembled.

North Korea He has previously denied the claim as Wagner’s owner Yevgeny Prigozhin called it “gossip and speculation” last month.

The White House said the satellite image was taken on November 18 and showed a Russian train heading to North Korea to collect weapons.

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“On November 19, North Korea loaded rail cars with shipping containers, and the train returned to Russia,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.

“While we anticipate that the amount of material supplied to Wagner has not changed the dynamics of the battlefield in Ukraine, we expect that it will continue to receive North Korean weapons systems,” he said.

Mr Kirby added that the Wagner Group and its global support network will also face tougher sanctions next week when the US designates it as a transnational criminal organization (TCO).

Visitors gather outside the PMC Wagner Center to mark the official opening of the office block, a project implemented by businessman and founder of the Wagner Private Military Group Evgeny Prigozhin, on November 4, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Russia.  REUTERS/Igor Russak
Wagner Center in St. Petersburg, Russia

It would freeze all of its assets in the US and prohibit it from providing funds, goods or services to Americans.

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Mr Kirby said: “With these measures, and more to come, our message to any company considering providing support to Wagner is this – Wagner is a criminal organization committed to widespread atrocities and human rights abuses. is committing violations, and we will work tirelessly to identify, disrupt, expose, and target those who aided Wagner.”

He estimated that about 50,000 private security company personnel are fighting alongside Russian troops in Ukraine — 40,000 of them criminals signed up from Russian prisons.

Graves of Wagner's mercenaries in a cemetery in southern Russia.
Graves of Wagner’s mercenaries in a cemetery in southern Russia.

It has been particularly active in the fighting at Bakhmut and Soledar in the east. Ukraine And the White House is growing concerned about its involvement.

Mr. Kirby added that Russia’s Defense Ministry also has reservations about Wagner’s recruitment strategy, but the United States believes it will continue to recruit prisoners.

Sky News visited and saw Wagner’s mercenary cemetery in southern Russia Row after row of identical fresh graves – An indication of the deaths that the group suffers. Ukraine says thousands have been killed.

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