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James Cameron Q&A: ‘Avatar’ Could Make a Difference in the Real World

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James Cameron Q&Amp;A: 'Avatar' Could Make A Difference In The Real World
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James Cameron has two pretty big projects coming together right now. The first is the National Geographic Super/Natural nature series, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and broadcast on Disney+ from Wednesday.

The second is a small film series titled Avatar.

A nature documentary series and a sci-fi blockbuster might not seem to have much in common, but they both have one clear goal: to encourage you to care about nature again.

Avatar 2: The Way of Water hits theaters on December 16. As with the original film, it uses state-of-the-art filming techniques to knock your socks off with Imax-sized action. Super/Natural, produced by Cameron, also uses incredibly clever filming techniques to show you breathtaking close-up nature. Dive deep under the waves or fly through the forest with drone cameras, the show focuses on the amazing abilities of animals big and small.

Cameron hopes these stories of fiction and non-fiction will reconnect you with nature to encourage us to tackle the climate crisis threatening and destroying many species — including us.

I spoke with the 68-year-old writer, director and documentary maker, Oscar winner and box office record, on Zoom from New Zealand, where he lives and works on the set of several Avatar sequels.

Why now for Super/Natural? Is there a particular technological breakthrough, or something that compelled you to do the show now?
Cameron: I have a long history with National Geographic that goes back a few decades now. I’m what they called an explorer-in-residence, which we all realized was an oxymoron, so we changed it to an explorer-at-large. We’re constantly looking for new things to do together, and they were developing something that we didn’t even have a title for at the time with Plimsoll, which is a big British natural history production company. [behind shows including Hostile Planet for Disney Plus and Night on Earth for Netflix]. When I read the summary of the incredible sensory apparatus of all these animals, and how it allows them to have all these different survival and mating strategies, I said, this is a super story. hero! Those are superpowers! This is where the idea “Super” comes from.

A Lizard With A Drop Of Water Hitting Its Little Face.

Get up close to amazing animals in Super/Natural.

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It seemed like an exciting way to use a lot of the new technology that was out there in terms of ultra low light cameras, ultra high speed cameras, things that are constantly being improved and working with the best natural history photographers working in this macro or underwater world and so on, and put it all together into a really interesting new narrative or a new way of looking at nature.

So in the Avatar films we create a fantasy world through which the viewer somehow perceives on a giant 3D Imax screen a fantastic vision of nature, but thematically underlying all of this is this idea of ​​interdependence not only of nature with itself, but of us with nature, as inhabitants, as native members of nature. So it occurred to me that this series has a lot of the same thematic elements philosophically, right? We see these closely interconnected animal and plant systems that have evolved over millions of years. And we get this breathtaking sense of wonder. You can look at a squirrel or an owl and say, well, that’s a pet.

In Avatar we design these fantastic animals so if we told you that they can see in the ultraviolet and fly around the world and do all these things, you wouldn’t just shrug your shoulders would you ? But when you see that a squirrel can not only fly, but also identify its buddies in the moonlight by the ultraviolet reflective surface of the underside of their body, all of a sudden you look at our world, our amazing world, as a whole different light, literally and conceptually.

Do you have a favorite innovation used on the show?
Cameron: The way they used the racing drones to fly through the forest and move with the animals, it was really combining elements of technology that were advancing. Got the high speed cameras [which] become smaller. Got probe lenses, now the optics are getting better. And by using different coatings, they can make them sensitive to ultraviolet, which people weren’t necessarily looking at, or infrared, and so on. Ultra low light cameras have always interested me because in the depths of the ocean there is no light. If you want to see bioluminescence and you want to see the strategies deep sea animals use for vision, some of them have such big eyes because there are so few photons there. [You need] low-light cameras and high-speed photography. We like that.

We hit very, very high frame rates, watching a stonefish take down its prey in 16 milliseconds. It’s so fast you can’t even see it with your eyes. But then we are able to slow it down to expand our human perception. Our superpower is that we use technology to examine all spectrums and frequencies of sound used by animals. They had to do it the hard way through millions of years of evolution. We are able to do this in a much shorter cycle of technological evolution.

A Drone Operator Catches A Drone On A Boat In The Open Sea.A Drone Operator Catches A Drone On A Boat In The Open Sea.

State-of-the-art cinematic technology, such as drones and miniature cameras, allows you to get a closer look at nature.

Katrina Steele/National Geographic for Disney Plus

How do you hope to influence viewers’ attitude towards the environment?
Cameron: I think the goal of either of my major projects right now, Super/Natural or Avatar: The Way of Water, is to remind us how important nature is to us. , and to put us back in this sort of childlike perspective where we have this sense of wonder and connection to nature. Children feel connected to nature. They’ll come out, they’ll come back filthy, they’ll come back after grabbing things and playing with them and studying. All the kids are natural historians, natural scientists, and then they give up and we move on and we live in a growing state of nature deficit disorder.

So a film like this recreates that connection, that childlike sense of wonder, showing us things we take for granted. This owl does very, very interesting things, or a spider or a lizard that has its own diving system. It’s pretty cool. We engage in something that people didn’t know about, because people are naturally curious. We engage through a narrator, Benedict Cumberbatch, who not only tells it, but he kind of plays it. It puts a bit of deflection on literally every line.

We took it as a challenge to write it in a way that puts you in the head of these animals that are just trying to survive, whether it’s from a predator’s perspective or from a prey’s perspective, or from a from a family perspective, how they preserve their lineages. We have an episode called Bloodlines. It’s about parenthood, basically – how do you keep your kids alive?

A Blue Alien Rides A Flying Fish Through The Sea In Avatar 2 The Weight Of Water.A Blue Alien Rides A Flying Fish Through The Sea In Avatar 2 The Weight Of Water.

Avatar: The weight of water will introduce us to more majestic fictional animals.

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This episode mentions that a growing danger to young elephants is dehydration as their environment heats up, which really struck me. Do you think the climate crisis has become more urgent and attitudes towards climate change have changed, especially 10 years after the first Avatar? Do you hope viewers will react to this series and the Avatar movies with heightened urgency over the next few years?
Cameron: Well, I’d like to think they see it as entertainment first, and kind of a moral and philosophical message second. We focus more on the oceans in The Way of Water, so greenhouse gases are also carbonizing the ocean and threatening many species and disrupting ecosystems. But the message is kind of between the lines. The message in Super/Natural is also between the lines — we want you to have a new connection with nature because you’re not going to defend or fight for what you don’t love and respect, don’t is this not ? Jacques Cousteau established this principle in the 1960s with his specials.

We do a lot of things as a human species that are really harmful to these fragile ecosystems. Many of the animals we see, enjoy, and learn about in our series are endangered. They are threatened.

And by the way, the human species is in danger and under threat. Potentially even an existential threat if you go out far enough, a few hundred years or so. Maybe even earlier.

I think we are also in this state of being more aware but also more in denial. We are certainly not changing fast enough. Certainly, people of conscience brake or buy electric cars. Maybe they’re starting to vote for people who actually care about this stuff, for a change, after a terrible time when it didn’t happen. But it’s not fast enough. We must therefore double or triple what we are doing to avoid this catastrophe.

I think everyone knows that, but they just don’t want to think about it. So you can’t go there directly. We don’t make documentaries about climate change, we make documentaries about nature. I’m doing a fictional nature story [with Avatar], working on social awareness in a different way. Not with warnings and cajoling, but showing beauty. Connection display.

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Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay is born, big honor for Satyajit Ray’s Aparajito and more

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Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Is Born, Big Honor For Satyajit Ray'S Aparajito And More
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By CNBCTV18.com 25 Sep 2022, 08:16 IST (Released)

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On September 25, 1639, the first printing press in America was established by Harvard in Cambridge.

On September 25, 1916, Indian economist, sociologist, politician and philosopher Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born. He devised the political philosophy Integral Humanism, (an integrated program of body, mind and intellect and soul). Since 2014, Antyodaya Diwas has been celebrated every year to mark his birthday and remember his life and legacy.

On the same day in 1957, the Indian film “Aparajito” directed by Satyajit Ray won the Golden Lion and Critics’ Award at the Venice Film Festival, the first Indian film to do so.

Other events occurring on this date

1639

The first printing press in America was created by Harvard in Cambridge.

1878

In a letter to The Times newspaper, British physician Dr Charles Drysdale warned against smoking. This is one of the first public health announcements about the dangers of smoking.

1932

The Poona Law was signed by Madan Mohan Malaviya and Dr BR Amedkar reserving legislative seats for the untouchables.

1974

The first report that Freon gases from aerosols destroy the ozone layer has been published by scientists.

1985

The Sikh political party, Akali Dal, won the Punjab state elections.

2005

Spanish Renault driver Fernando Alonso has won his first Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship, ending the reign of Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher.

2018

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have quit Instagram and its parent company Facebook.

2020

Former United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become the first woman to lie in state from the US Capitol in Washington DC

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‘The Witcher’ Season 3 and ‘Blood Origin’ Prequel Series Get Release Dates

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'The Witcher' Season 3 And 'Blood Origin' Prequel Series Get Release Dates
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Season 3 of The Witcher is expected to slice and dice more monsters in the summer of 2023. But before Henry Cavill returns as Geralt de Rivera in the new series, netflix has confirmed that the prequel series Blood Origin will debut this Christmas.

Season 2 of The Witcher saw Cavill’s Geralt and Freya Allen’s Ciri band together to take on monsters (and humans) in swordplay action, only to end up with a bounty on their heads. While waiting for the new season next year, the prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin will air on December 25.

The streaming service confirmed the release dates for Season 3 and Blood Origin at the annual Tudum marketing event (named after the noise you hear at the start of every Netflix show). Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series, Netflix’s fantasy franchise also includes an animated series.

Blood Origin stars Sophia Brown as Éile, a warrior in the Queen’s Guard, and Michelle Yeoh as Scian, the last of a tribe of elves. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the series, guided by showrunner Declan de Barra:

'The Witcher' Season 3 And 'Blood Origin' Prequel Series Get Release Dates


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3 things to watch for during Chicago Cubs’ final 10 games, including Patrick Wisdom’s home run quest and Willson’ Contreras’ potential return

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3 Things To Watch For During Chicago Cubs’ Final 10 Games, Including Patrick Wisdom’s Home Run Quest And Willson’ Contreras’ Potential Return
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Playing in close games has been a staple for the Chicago Cubs this season.

They entered Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates having won each of their last four games by one run. It was the first time the Cubs won four straight road games by one run since June 17-21, 1989, according to team historian Ed Hartig.

Overall, the Cubs’ 85 games decided by two runs or less are the most in Major League Baseball ahead of the Pirates (83). The Cubs own a 39-46 record (.459) in those games. They also have played 50 one-run games, third-most in the majors.

“We’ve had some opportunities lately that the other team has given us some gifts to help us out a little bit,” manager David Ross said Saturday. “That’s something that we focus on to try to get a little bit better, but I wouldn’t say anything stood out (during this stretch). I think these guys are playing hard to the end and they’re doing some little things to help themselves out.”

With 10 games remaining after their 6-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday — one in Pittsburgh, three versus the Philadelphia Phillies and six straight against the Cincinnati Reds — the Cubs need to go at least 7-3 to avoid a 90-loss season.

Saturday might have served as Wade Miley’s final outing with the Cubs this year. Miley exited in the fifth inning with left oblique tightness.

He felt the backside of his left oblique start to grab when he turned to make throw to second base in the fifth inning. The errant throw resulted in an error with nobody out to put runners on second and third, leading to the Pirates’ five-run inning after Adbert Alzolay replaced Miley.

He has started only eight games for the Cubs because of three stints on the IL: left elbow inflammation and twice due to a strained left shoulder. Miley, a free agent after the season, has pitched well when healthy, posting a 3.34 ERA in 35 innings.

“I mean, it’s been a frustrating year, no doubt,” Miley said. “But it’s also been a big learning experience for myself and obviously a lot of young players getting to come up and handling some failure and having some success.”

As a team, the Cubs haven’t had much to play for in a while, but there remain a few individual performances worth keeping an eye on during the final 1½ weeks.

1. Patrick Wisdom’s quest for a 25-homer season

A left finger injury has hampered Patrick Wisdom since late August, affecting his ability to get in a rhythm after costing him 14 games on the injured list.

But after hitting a home run in two of his last three games heading into Saturday, Wisdom is trying to finish strong. He is one away from 25 homers this season, coming off hitting a franchise rookie record 28 in 2021.

If Wisdom connects for one more homer, he would become the fourth Cubs third baseman to record multiple 25-homer seasons, joining Ron Santo (eight times), Aramis Ramírez (seven) and Kris Bryant (four). He nearly went deep Saturday. PNC Park kept in his 374-foot flyout to left field in the sixth inning, which would be a home run in 28 of 30 ballparks.

“Swinging at good pitches, controlling my swing — I take a lot of swings that are probably max effort up there sometimes, so I tell myself to tailor it back a little bit and not swing so hard,” Wisdom said Friday after he homered. “And so those are the good ones, and the bad ones are I’m swinging too hard. I don’t know if it’s making up for my finger feeling iffy.”

2. Willson Contreras and Nico Hoerner eye a return to game action

The schedule is starting to work against the catcher and shortstop.

Both players have remained hopeful of returning before the season ends from their respective injuries. Hoerner (right triceps strain) made on-field throws before Saturday’s game for the second time this series while Contreras (left ankle sprain) again took batting practice Saturday after vigorously testing his ankle on the bases Friday, including turns that had not felt great his previous attempt.

For Contreras, the Cubs’ upcoming six-game homestand represents potentially his last time playing in front of a home crowd at Wrigley Field. While he already endured the emotions and goodbyes during the final home games leading up to the trade deadline, this likely will feel more final as Contreras, an impending free agent, heads in to the offseason. A return at some point in the next week would provide one more opportunity for the World Series champion to cherish cheers from Cubs fans.

Hoerner has nothing to prove in returning before the end of the season besides getting more at-bats and experience. His all-around play has made him the Cubs’ most consistent player this year, especially when factoring in his value with his elite defense at shortstop. He has proved to be worth building around.

3. Pitchers galore

The Cubs set a big-league record last season when they used 69 players, and they are on the verge of setting a new mark on the pitching side.

Through Friday’s game, the Cubs have utilized 42 pitchers, including three position players. That ties the most ever in a single season by any major-league team, matching the 2019 Mariners, 2021 Orioles and 2021 Mets.

Had Monday’s 10-3 loss to the Miami Marlins gotten a little more out of hand, Ross would have turned to a pitcher and considered using first baseman Alfonso Rivas if the situation arose. Rivas appeared in 28 games during his first two seasons at the University of Arizona, posting a 9.20 ERA in 29⅓ innings. He could be the guy if the Cubs are part of a blowout game in these last 10 games.

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470,000 people without power after Fiona causes ‘shocking’ damage in Canada

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470,000 People Without Power After Fiona Causes 'Shocking' Damage In Canada
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Hundreds of thousands of Canadians were without power on Saturday after former Hurricane Fiona hit the country’s Atlantic provinces, causing what officials said was shocking and devastating damage.

Trees were felled and utility poles were snapped in half, and roofs were torn from buildings and homes swept away after Fiona made landfall in eastern Nova Scotia around 3 a.m., said officials.

When Fiona made landfall near Whitehead, it was a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds of 90 mph, officials said.

“It’s shocking the damage we’re seeing,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said Saturday.

A storm surge of over 6 feet hit Prince Edward Island. The damage is likely the worst ever seen in the province, and recovery will take weeks or more, Premier Dennis King said.

No deaths associated with the storm had been reported as of Saturday afternoon.

More than 471,000 customers in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland were without power Saturday, according to utilities.

Nova Scotia Power CEO Peter Gregg said some would be without power for “several days.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has canceled plans to attend the state funeral in Japan for slain former prime minister Shinzo Abe. He said the storm had a “terrible impact”.

“We are seeing devastating images coming out of Port aux Basques,” Trudeau said. “PEI. (Prince Edward Island) suffered storm damage the likes of which they had never seen. Cape Breton is also hard hit, as is Quebec.

He said the country’s armed forces would be deployed to help in the aftermath and the federal government would be ready to help.

In Port aux Basques, on Newfoundland’s southwest coast, evacuations were ordered and Mayor Brian Button said “utter devastation” was occurring, CBC reported.

News agency video showed homes being swept away. Phil Boyles fled because of the storm surge. “I took out everything I could try to keep, and now it looks like I can’t even come back,” he said, according to CBC.

Fiona was a Category 4 hurricane as it approached Bermuda.

It caused major damage in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic earlier this week when it was a Category 1 storm. Fifteen deaths in Puerto Rico and two deaths in the Dominican Republic have been linked to the storm, officials said.

The hurricane was expected to be a historic weather event for eastern Canada.

In Prince Edward Island, King, the premier, said Saturday the damage was likely the worst the province has ever seen.

“It was billed as one of the strongest storms to ever hit our province, and by all accounts, Hurricane Fiona lived up to that billing,” he said.

He was grateful there were no reports of serious injuries or worse, but said “our road to recovery will take weeks or more”.

As of 6 p.m. local time, Fiona was 80 miles northwest of Port aux Basques and moving northeast at 8 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and was expected to move across Labrador and the Labrador Sea late Saturday and Sunday. It will produce large swells and life-threatening rip currents, the center said.

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Gophers passing game succeeds without alpha Chris Autman-Bell

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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Chris Autman-Bell was live-tweeting during Saturday’s Gophers game from back home in Minnesota.

After being lost for the season due to a knee injury last week, the U’s No. 1 receiver who had surgery Wednesday was showing support from afar, and he had to mix in a lot of names during the 34-7 win over Michigan State at Spartan Stadium.

Quarterback Tanner Morgan connected with 10 pass-catchers and showed what the by-committee approach to replacing Autman-Bell might look like for the rest of the 2022 season.

On Saturday, Michael Brown-Stephens led the way with six receptions on six targets for 73 yards, but Dylan Wright, Daniel Jackson and Brevyn Spann-Ford each had three grabs and at least 40 yards apiece.

“We have a lot of guys that can go make plays for us,” said Morgan, who finished 23 for 26 for 268 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. “We saw that (Saturday), a lot of guys were involved in the game plan and made plays. It makes my job really easy.”

Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck said in the absence of a clear No. 1 target, they run an offense that goes through progressions, mixing in run-pass option, spreading people out, use different formations and personnel groups and keep a defense from focusing on only one or two primary pass-catchers.

The variety was most apparent when backup tight end Nick Kallerup caught his first career touchdown pass in the third quarter. The Gophers also checked down to running backs, with Mo Ibrahim having two receptions, while Bryce Wiliams and Trey Potts had one apiece.

Morgan said his progressions have been much improved this season in a reunion with offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca.

“When you know what you are looking for and you are confident with the play that’s called, good looks for it, bad looks for it, spacial awareness, you can move through the progression faster,” Morgan said. “…I felt really good with that. I do need to continue to improve on it.”

Minnesota also took advantage of a Spartans pass defense that allowed nearly 400 yards and four passing touchdowns in a 39-28 loss to Washington last week. They were dead last in pass defense in 2021 and are struggling again.

Jackson, who missed the first two games this seasons with an ankle injury, had his first two touchdown receptions of the season.

“We have (Autman-Bell) with us the whole time,” Jackson said. “He is in all of our hearts. The goal is to be consistent and execute the game plan, and I felt like we did that pretty well.”

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Senators urge Biden to increase pressure on North Korea

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Two Republican senators have expressed concern to the Biden administration over growing cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“We are troubled by reports that Russia and North Korea are strengthening their relationship, which will help [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s unjust and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Hagerty said in their letter dated Thursday.

“North Korea and Russia have recently agreed to send North Korean workers to areas of Ukraine seized by Russia,” their letter continues. “We also learned that Russia was trying to buy millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea.”

Rubio and Hagerty urged the Biden administration “to fully implement congressional and multilateral sanctions to increase pressure on the Kim regime.”

The senators sent the letter Thursday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Rubio is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Hagerty is a member of the Senate Banking Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee.

In response to the senators’ letter, a State Department spokesperson told VOA’s Korea Service on Saturday that “it is important that the international community sends a strong and unified message that the DPRK must end its illegal actions, uphold its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, and engage in serious and sustained negotiations with the United States.”

North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The spokesperson continued, “The UN sanctions against the DPRK remain in place and we will continue to encourage all member states to implement them, including through diplomacy at the United Nations and with the DPRK’s neighbors. “.

VOA Korean Service contacted North Korea’s UN mission in New York to seek comment on the senators’ letter, but did not receive a response. The service also contacted the Russian embassy in Washington and its UN mission in New York, but received no response.

The UN Security Council has sanctioned North Korea for arms exports in several resolutions dating back to 2006, and in December 2017 it passed a resolution banning member states from hiring North Korean workers. in response to Pyongyang’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile a month earlier.

The United States and its allies and partners sanctioned Russia, barring it from the global financial system days after its Feb. 21 invasion of Ukraine.

After the setbacks of war, Moscow turned to Pyongyang for help.

In July, Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia that Moscow was willing to hire North Korean workers to rebuild the Russian-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk republics in the Donbass region.

On July 14, North Korea recognized the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

According to the US State Department, Russia wants to buy rockets and artillery shells from North Korea because it lacks weapons.

At a press briefing on September 6, Vedant Patel, deputy spokesman for the State Department, said: “The Russian Ministry of Defense is in the process of buying millions of rockets and shells from artillery to North Korea for use in Ukraine”.

He added: “This purchase indicates that the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages due in part to export controls and sanctions.”

Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya has said the US claim of Moscow buying arms from Pyongyang is “another fake”, according to Tass, a state-run news agency.

North Korea said on Thursday that it had “never exported arms or ammunition to Russia” and “did not plan to export any,” it said in a statement released by KCNA.

The North Korean statement did not mention sending workers to Donbass.

North Korea continued to say that it “never recognized” the “illegal UN Security Council sanctions resolutions” imposed on North Korea “that were concocted by the United States and their vassal forces”.

If Moscow hires workers and buys weapons from North Korea, it would violate the sanctions it imposed on the regime as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Such deals would also put North Korea in violation of sanctions aimed at preventing Pyongyang from earning much-needed hard currency to fund the development of nuclear missiles and ballistic missiles.

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