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They dismantled the Russian ballistic missile and did not expect what they found inside

They dismantled the Russian ballistic missile and did not expect what they found inside

According to a recent report, the North Korean ballistic missile that Russia launched at Ukraine last January contained components linked to companies registered in the United States and Europe.

This is also the first time that data has been made public about North Korea's reliance on foreign technology for its missile program. The report also repeatedly highlights the problem that the Biden administration and Western governments still cannot truly prevent parts intended for civilian use from ending up in North Korean, Iranian, or Russian weapons.

The British-based CAR (Conflict Armament Research) Foundation was able to directly examine 290 parts of a North Korean ballistic missile collected from the Kharkiv region of Ukraine in January.

According to their report, 75% of the ingredients were products designed and sold by companies registered in the United States.

Another 16 percent are linked to European companies and 9 percent to Asian companies.

Western components were mainly used in the missile navigation system and can be traced back to 26 companies registered in the United States, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan.

The Conflict Armament Research Foundation previously indicated that 82% of the Iranian-made attack drones deployed by Russia inside Ukraine contain American-made components.

In addition to sweeping Western sanctions against Russia, the Biden administration also established a comprehensive task force in late 2022 to investigate how American and Western parts gained access to Iranian-made drones.

CAR's current report does not specifically mention which companies produced these parts. The rationale is that there is no evidence that these companies intentionally supplied these parts to North Korea.

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It is also a worrying fact that all the parts analyzed were manufactured between 2021 and 2023. According to experts, this means that North Korea was able to manufacture and deliver the missiles to Russia in only three-quarters of a year.

The cover image is an illustration. Cover image source: Getty Images

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