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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arms Trade with North Korea Sought

Russia has been holding consultations aimed at increasing its arms trade with North Korea, a top military official was quoted as saying Wednesday.

The once-strong ties between the Kremlin and North Korea have declined since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but President Vladimir Putin has sought to boost contacts and made a high-profile visit to the country this summer.

Russia's military trade with North Korea currently involves only spare parts for Soviet- and Russian-made weapons, the chief of the Defense Ministry's international cooperation department, Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, said in Tokyo, according to Itar-Tass.

Russian and North Korean officials have been discussing ways of boosting the trade, particularly the question of how the isolated, economically strapped country could pay for new arms, Ivashov said during a visit to Japan accompanying Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, the report said.

The statement comes on the heels of Russia angering the United States by announcing that it intended to resume arms sales to Iran, which it had pledge in 1995 to halt.