Components from US and EU found in North Korean missiles that Russia fired at Ukraine

Russia fired missiles from the DPRK at Ukraine, using parts from the US and Europe. Russia has already launched multiple times at Ukraine with North Korean ballistic missiles, revealing hundreds of components from American and European businesses.

This is claimed in a report published by the British group Conflict Armament Research (CAR). CAR representatives analyzed 290 DPRK missile fragments after Russia bombarded Kharkiv in January.

75% of components in North Korean missile were developed by US-based firms

It turns out that 75% of these components were developed and sold by companies based in the United States. Another 16% of the components discovered are linked to companies based in Europe. Corporations incorporated in Asia account for the remaining 9%.

According to the assessment, the DPRK was able to develop and quickly dispatch a ballistic missile to Russia. Parts discovered were produced between 2021 and 2023. CAR argues that Russia could not have built the missile used to attack Kharkiv in January 2024 before March 2023.

CAR’s study linked the detected components to 26 firms based in the United States, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, and Taiwan. There is no proof that these were direct transfers; it is more likely that the DPRK obtained Western components through middlemen to avoid restrictions.

North Korea acquire Western parts via complex procurement network

According to the publication, the foreign parts were delivered to North Korea via a large global supply chain, with these enterprises selling to a variety of international distributors.

The findings show that North Korea has created a complex procurement network capable of bypassing sanctions regimes that have been in place for nearly 20 years.

The article also states that this is the first public disclosure of North Korea’s reliance on foreign technologies in its missile program. The findings highlight the dilemma confronting the Joseph Biden administration.

The White House is attempting to prevent affordable Western-made microelectronics meant for civilian use from reaching the armaments of the DPRK, Iran, and Russia.

North Korea supplied Russia with missiles and artillery shells

In addition to missiles, North Korea has supplied Russia with hundreds of thousands of artillery shells. Thanks to this support, as well as Moscow’s ability to obtain parts from third countries, Russia has been able to increase its ammunition production, which far exceeds the amount that Ukraine receives from its allies.

EU adopted sanctions against North Korea and Russian shipping companies

As part of the 13th round of sanctions, the European Union restricted DPRK Defense Minister Kang Sun Nam’s ability to supply ballistic missiles to Russia. The EU slapped an asset freeze and a visa restriction on the DPRK’s defense minister.

The package also contained sanctions against Russian shipping companies that transported weapons.

The EU sanctions also place additional limits on the export of specific technologies and electronics, such as semiconductors, machinery, and ball bearings needed by Russia’s defense industry.

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