Russia has all grounds, opportunities to supply engines for N.Korean missiles – Ukraine’s State Space Agency
Given Moscow’s friendly relations with Pyongyang and the availability of seven to 20 pieces of ready-made "Tsyklon 2" and "Tsyklon 3" rockets, Russia has every reason and opportunity for the supply to North Korea of missile engines and technology that can be used for military purposes, acting chief of the State Space Agency of Ukraine Yury Radchenko told a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.
At the press conference, the official refuted the report by The New York Times claiming that the success of the DPRK’s missile program may be related to the possible acquisition on the black market by the Korean side of powerful Ukrainian-made engines for their missiles.
"Given the friendly relations with Korea, Russia could have all grounds for supplying missiles, engines, fuel components," Radchenko said, adding that it took North Korea only two years to jump from starting to develop their missile technology to launching the finished product, which is a very short period for the implementation of such technology.
Read alsoNYT expert explains his words about Ukraine's supply of missile technology to DPRK"Two years have passed since the beginning of the development of technology until launch - these terms are exceptional. No one can… implement this project in such terms, even a space power... But they succeeded. They used the finished product. That's all we can say," Radchenko added, saying that until 2001 Ukraine had produced the engines, mentioned in the NYT article, but they were all part of the completed rockets "Tsyklon 2" and "Tsyklon 3" and were all delivered to Russia, where they are supposed to be stored today.
"According to our operational information, Russia today has at its disposal some seven to 20 "Tsyklon 2" and "Tsyklon 3" rockets. The engines are there as well as the paperwork. They can supply these engines as ready-made products to anyone – this can’t be ruled out," he said.
Radchenko also added that, according to his estimates, Russians will not use these rockets anymore.
"The probability is high that the report in the media could be inspired by our ‘friends’ from Russia because they are interested in lowering the rating of our country in the projects in which we participate," Radchenko said, adding that the reputation of Ukraine as a space power would not suffer from such publications, because it is based on the developments that already exist in Ukraine, while "this is just hype about nothing."
Read alsoUkraine-DPRK missile ties accusations: problem for Kyiv or simply a "bubble"As UNIAN reported, August 14, The New York Times posted an article, alleging that North Korea's success in its latest tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could probably reach the U.S. coast was due to the acquisition on the black market of powerful rocket engines, most likely originating from a Ukrainian plant. In the article, the publication refers to the opinion of Michael Elleman, the expert who, according to media reports, took part in programs on disarmament and dismantling of obsolete Russian missiles. The media also noted his wife, Tatyana, being previously photographed in Russian military uniform.
Read alsoTurchynov brands reports on Ukraine supplying missile technology to N.Korea "intrigues of Russian intel"In response to the said report, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov stated that the Ukrainian defense companies had not supplied rocket engines and missile technology to the North Korean regime.
The state-owned Yuzhmash stated that the plant had never had and was not having any ties with North Korean missile programs of space or defense nature.
On the morning of August 15, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman called a provocation the media reports about the alleged deliveries of missile engines to North Korea by the state enterprise Yuzhmash. According to the State Space Agency, the technology for the production of engines for military missiles and the products themselves could not have come from the territory of Ukraine to North Korea, as Ukraine strictly abides by international legislation restricting the proliferation of military missile technology.