Analyst Links North Korean Missile Engines with Ukrainian Plant

On August 14, the New York Times reported that North Korea’s recent successes in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) have been facilitated by purchasing Ukrainian rocket engines on the blackmarket. Citing a newly released study by the International Institute for Security Studies, and “classified assessments by American intelligence agencies,” the Times stated the Russian designed engines, known as RD-250 engines, likely came from Yuzhmash, a state-run factory located in Dnipro. Senior Ukrainian military officials and Yuzhmash both released statements denying the reports. The Times article has also been met with skepticism from several missile experts, who argue that the missile test characteristics do not match the RD-250 and that North Korea likely developed the engines indigenously based on foreign designs.

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