North Korea's New Missiles Came From Ukraine and Russia, Report Claims


According to Michael Elleman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the missiles used in recent North Korean tests were based on the RD-250 engine once made at a plant in what is now an independent Ukraine.

The secretary of the Ukrainian Security and Defence Council, Oleksandr Turchynov, said Ukraine "has never supplied rocket engines or any kind of missile technology to North Korea".

The report also stated that "experts believe it [the factory] is the most likely source of the engines that in July powered the two ICBM tests, which were the first to suggest that North Korea has the threaten American cities".

The IISS report said that the engine did not physically resemble any LPE manufactured in China, France, India, Iran, Japan or the United States, which left the former Soviet Union states as the most likely source. "The only serial engine that has been exported in the past several years - the RD-843 shipped to Italy for the European launch vehicle Vega - is created to operate in outer space, and its features, including its thrust, makes it unsuitable for use in military ballistic missiles", it said.

Earlier in the day, The New York Times newspaper reported citing an expert analysis and classified assessments by USA intelligence agencies, North Korea's successes in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile may be attributed to purchases of rocket engines from Ukraine.

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The politician said that today the Ukrainian authorities do not know where and for what objective Russian Federation was re-exporting missile technologies, which they had received until 2014, allegedly for the needs of their armed forces.

The report notes that state-owned factory, known as Yuzhmash, is not far from territory controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

North Korea's recent rapid progress in developing a long-range missile appears to come after it procured Soviet-designed rocket engines from a plant in Ukraine, according to an expert report published today.

The Yuzhmash plant's marketing department said the company 'has never before and does not have anything to do with North Korean missile programs of a space or defense nature'.