Russia calls claim about its alleged military ties with North Korea inaccurate

State flags of Russia and North Korea fly in a street in Vladivostok

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday that Western claims that it was cooperating militarily with North Korea were inaccurate and said its relationship with Pyongyang was neither directed against third countries nor threatening to the security of the region.

Reuters on April 25 reported from Washington that China was providing moorage for a U.S.-sanctioned Russian cargo ship implicated in North Korean arms transfers to Russia, according to satellite images obtained by Reuters from Britain's Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

The ship had conducted at least 11 deliveries between the North Korean port of Rajin and Russian ports from August 2023, according to RUSI, which has been tracking its movements as part of a project to use open source data to monitor North Korea's sanctions evasion networks.

In response to a request for comment on the story, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that "the accusations against Moscow and Pyongyang in military cooperation are unfounded and unsubstantiated."

"As for the British analytical center RUSI, we do not consider ourselves obliged to report to anyone for inaccurate information disseminated by such structures, which no one authorised or endowed with supervisory functions to monitor compliance with the international sanctions regime."

Moscow, the ministry said, was building relations with North Korea on the basis of mutual interests.

"This cooperation is not directed against third countries and does not threaten security in the region and the world as a whole," the foreign ministry said.

"At the same time, our country, being a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, pays increased attention to the problems of peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and the implementation of U.N. Security Council decisions that would help reduce the level of threats."

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Osborn and William Maclean)