CBRN Assessment

Controversy surrounds assertion that North Korean ICBM engines came from Ukraine

18 August 2017

Key Points

  • A recent report has asserted that North Korea's successful ICBM tests in July were facilitated by Ukrainian rocket motor technology
  • Official Ukrainian sources have denied the assertion

A publicly released assessment of North Korea's recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) featuring a vastly improved rocket motor has concluded that, two years previously, Pyongyang's missile programme received engines that were built and modified in Ukraine. The author of the report, Michael Elleman, is an experienced weapons inspector who has served tours of duty with the US Cooperative Threat Reduction programme in the former Soviet Union, and with the United Nations' weapons of mass destruction (WMD) assessment teams in Iraq.

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