The Us said that North Korea doesn’t rely on imports and has the ability to produce its own missile engines. The assessment disputes a new study by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies that said that the engines for a nuclear missile North Korea is developing to hit the United States likely were made in factories in Ukraine or Russia and probably obtained via black market networks.
The IISS study, which coincides with tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, said the engines probably came from the Ukrainian Yuzhmash plant. The study based its conclusions mainly on photographs published by North Korea of missile engines that it ground-tested in September and March and flight-tested on Hwasong-12 and Hwasong-14 missiles in May and July. Hwasong-12 is an intermediate-range rocket and Hwasong-14 is an intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea has designed to reach the U.S. mainland.
Ukraine is supported by the United States in its fight against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine denied that it had ever supplied defence technology to North Korea and had not produced military-grade ballistic missiles since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Another U.S. intelligence official said that the modifications to the RD-250 that resulted in improved reliability may have relied in part on foreign scientists recruited by North Korea or been developed by North Koreans educated in Russia or elsewhere.
The head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies in Monterey, California said his research team performed measurements independent from each other on the same photographs used in the IISS study and determined that they were of different sizes. They concluded that the motors for the North Korean ICBM likely were indigenously built. He also pointed to Jan. 17, 2016, U.S. Treasury announcement of U.S. financial sanctions on Iranian firms for helping North Korea develop the engine that was tested in November and most closely resembles the Ukrainian engine.
Tensions were risen between the reclusive state of North Korea and the United States under new President Donald Trump, as the former continues with its missile tests and nuclear weapons programme. North Korea has even gone to the extent of saying that it is ready for a war if Trump wants it and that it will ‘wipe America off the face of the Earth’. Pyongyang, ruled by 32-year-old dictator Kim Jong-un, has further accused the US of plotting a chemical weapons attack.