North Korean Ballistic missiles found in Kharkiv

Russian Hwason-11 missiles used in Kharkiv attack violated 2006 arms embargo, with materials from multiple countries, including US, escalating global conflict.

North Korean Ballistic missiles found in Kharkiv
Photo source: A Helicopter’s Battlefield, by Chandler Cruttenden, via Unsplash, June 23th, 2019


Benjamin Arenas Sanchez

East Asia Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence.


Last week it was confirmed that the missiles used by the Russian Federation against a civilian building in Kharkiv on January 2nd, 2024, were Hwason-11 series ballistic missiles from North Korea. A 32-page report by the UN sanctions monitor, that included metallurgical test results and photographic evidence, suggests that Russia has violated the arms embargo imposed on North Korea in 2006 following their first nuclear test.The Russian news agency RIA, a state-run news agency, has claimed the report to be a fake, written by “a group of specialists that went to Ukraine and wrote what the puppet authorities wrote.”The Conflict Armaments Research, a group of independent researchers, corroborated the US’ allegations that it was indeed a North Korean missile that was used in the attack in Kharkiv on January 2nd, even concluding that the missile was made in North Korea but with materials from multiple countries, including the United States.


North Korea and the Russian federation accused the US of aggression after they approved the sending of long-range Army Tactical Missiles Systems on April 24th.The North Korean Ministry of National Defence has implied that the US is now taking direct participation in the

Russia-Ukraine war. On the other hand, the US has accused Russia in a UN Security Council meeting in February 2024 of using North Korean missiles at least nine times against Ukraine.


The arms embargo was first put in place by the United Nations in 2006, after North Korea had its first nuclear tests. Those sanctions were strengthened through the years, with the last resolution being passed in December 2017. Arms embargo counts as a measure not involving the use of force that the UN can implement under Chapter 7 for the prevention of conflict. As per Article 41, the Security Council can call upon its members to enforce those measures taken, and a failure to comply will be noted. Although the experts have not been able to exactly confirm the location from which the missile has been fired, the UN investigators said that its trajectory indicates it was fired within the Russian Federation’s territory, and that if the territory was under Russian control, it would indicate the procurement of those Hwasong-11 series missiles by Russian nationals, therefore violating the arms embargo of 2006.


This latest development is just one amongst many that show the global escalation of the conflict, deepening the fear of prolongation of the conflict.

Sources and further reading:

 UN Monitors Say North Korean Missile Struck Ukraine’s Kharkiv. (2024) Al Jazeera. Accessed 6 May 2024.


Anton Sokolin (2024) UN Sanctions Monitors Conclude North Korean Ballistic Missile Struck Ukraine. NK News. Accessed 6 May 2024.


William Echols (2024) ‘North Korea, Supplier of Long-Range Missiles Russia Used to Kill Ukrainian Civilians, Accuses US of “Escalation. Accessed 6 May 2024.



[Fact Sheet: North Korea Sanctions. Accessed 6 May 2024


United Nations Charter. Accessed 6 May 2024.