(Bloomberg) -- Russia fired ballistic missiles provided by North Korea against Ukrainian forces in the country’s northeast, the Defense Intelligence Agency said in a report, offering fresh evidence of a deepening military alliance between the two US adversaries.

The report by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm compared publicly available images of missile debris in Kharkiv, the northeastern Ukrainian city where Russia has mounted a recent offensive, with North Korean state media photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un touring a ballistic missile factory in August 2023. 

“The debris in Ukraine visually matches the missiles in the images from North Korean state media,” according to the report.

The agency matched characteristics of North Korean short-range ballistic missiles with those of the weapons photographed in Kharkiv in January. The report highlights similarities between the forward and aft motor sections, tabs used to attach flight instruments and the payload to the weapon’s motor and the igniter for the missile.

“Since the beginning of the DPRK’s missile program, Pyongyang has sold ballistic missile technology, including full systems and components,” the defense agency said, referring to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It cited past sales to countries including Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and Yemen. 

The assessment adds fresh details to a claim the Biden administration made earlier this year that Russia had fired North Korea-provided missiles at targets in Ukraine as part of attacks on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. At the time, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Russia planned to continue using North Korean ballistic missiles.

The fresh Defense Intelligence Agency assessment coincided with a Biden administration decision to let Ukraine launch US-provided munitions against military targets around the Kharkiv area inside Russia.

The intelligence agency issued a similar report in August on Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine, based on the agency’s collection of debris from attacks in both Ukraine and the Middle East.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Vladimir Putin met in September in Russia for talks that the US said focused on furthering arms deals between their countries.

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