Documents: North Korea making major gains in sea-based missile technology

The North Korean government has made significant advances in sea-based ballistic missile technology which it could use to threat the United States and her allies throughout Asia, according to newly disclosed documents.

The documents indicate that North Korea most likely got its designs from the former Soviet Union, as evidenced by the sophistication of current missiles that have been tested.

“The question that has long been raised is: Did North Korea get this technology from a [Russian] fire sale?” said David Wright, a missiles expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Did they get plans years ago and are just now at the point where they can build these things?”

Pyongyang has in the past relied on Russian missile designs for its own arsenal throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. But the newly disclosed documents from the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau include features seen in some of the newest missiles in North Korea’s expanding arsenal.

The documents include marketing brochures for several top-of-the-line Soviet-era missiles that were able to deliver nuclear warheads all major U.S. cities.

But also, they show that some designs, initially for the Soviet navy, could be launched from a large boat, a submerged barge, or a capsule dropped into the ocean, negating the need for a modern submarine fleet. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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