North Korea procuring Iranian missile technology, Israeli analyst says

By Elizabeth Shim  |  April 20, 2016 at 9:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- A solid-fuel rocket engine North Korea tested in March was built with technology from Iran, an Israeli analyst said.

Tal Inbar, of Israel's Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, said Pyongyang has also made significant progress in developing ballistic missile technology, Voice of America reported Tuesday.

Inbar made the statements at a congressional briefing addressing the "ballistic axis," a reference to Iran's and North Korea's space program.

The analyst also said a significant portion of North Korean missile technology was being shared with Iran.

On March 24, Kim Jong Un stated a "successful" test of a solid-fuel rocket engine was completed, adding that he wanted to increase the power of North Korea's ballistic missiles that can "ruthlessly beat down hostile forces."

Inbar said the propellant on the North Korean engine is identical to the technology developed in Iran.

The solid-fuel propellant North Korean news agency KCNA featured was 1.25 meters in diameter, and included details that can be found on the Sejjil, the Iranian solid-fueled ballistic missile.

The Sejjil is capable of traveling 1,200 miles. North Korea could have procured the technology either directly or indirectly.

Inbar also said North Korea's Hwasong-13 missile – sometimes known as the KN-08 ICBM – could have a warhead component that measures more than 20 inches in diameter.

North Korea could mount a warhead yielding 40-80 kilotons on the missile, the analyst said.

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