Russia said on Thursday that it planned to build close ties with North Korea in all areas, a day after South Korea, Japan and the United States condemned what they said were weapons supplies from Pyongyang to Moscow. 

Asked about the accusation by the three countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “There are many such reports, they are all groundless as a rule, there are no specifics. Such reports have been around for a long time. We see no point in commenting on this.”

He added: “North Korea is our neighbour and we continue and will continue to develop close relations in all areas.” Pressed on whether weapons deliveries had taken place, Peskov said: “We don’t comment on this in any way.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit in Russia in September at which they discussed military matters, the war in Ukraine and possible Russian help for the secretive state’s satellite programme.

The United States and its allies have voiced concern that Kim could provide weapons and ammunition to Russia, which has expended vast stocks in its 20-month war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, South Korea, Japan and the United States “strongly condemn” North Korea supplying arms to Moscow, the allies said in a joint statement on Thursday, adding that “several” such deliveries have been made by Pyongyang.

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