Russia may help N.Korea with nuclear, missile development, US warns

A senior US State Department official has warned that North Korea may get assistance for its nuclear and long-range missile development programs from Russia.

Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell was speaking on Monday at an event in Washington that was hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, a US-based think tank.

Campbell noted that Pyongyang has provided Moscow with military assistance to help it continue its military operation in Ukraine.

He said, "We believe that there are discussions about what North Korea gets in exchange and it could be associated with its nuclear or long-range missile development plans, perhaps other things in energy."

Last week, the two nations signed a comprehensive strategic partnership treaty. It states that Russia or North Korea will provide the other with military assistance, if one of the countries is invaded and placed under a state of war.

Campbell expressed concerns about steps the two nations are taking to expand their military cooperation. He said that the US is carefully watching to see what will happen in the wake of the agreement.

The deputy secretary also said, "China is somewhat anxious about what's going on between Russia and North Korea."

He added, "China is probably worried that North Korea will be somehow encouraged to take provocative steps that could lead to a crisis in Northeast Asia."