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North Korean missile fired by Russia contained US electronics, report says


Daily Caller News Foundation

A North Korean ballistic missile that was fired by Russia into Ukraine contained numerous electronic components sourced from the U.S. and Europe, according to a new report from Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a U.K.-based investigative organization.

Approximately 75% of the 290 components analyzed in the missile originated from U.S.-based companies, and an additional 16% of components came from European firms, according to the CAR report. The U.S. government and intelligence agencies are working to stop sensitive American intellectual property from ending up in the hands of several foreign adversaries.

CAR documents “weapons at the point of use and track their sources back through the chains of supply.”

The fact that North Korea was able to acquire so many American electronic component parts suggests “that the country has developed a robust acquisition network capable of circumventing, without detection, sanction regimes that have been in place for nearly two decades,” according to the report.

The electronic components – which came from 26 countries in total – were largely utilized in the missile’s navigation system, according to the report. It isn’t clear how the components ended up in North Korea’s possession, as the country is strictly sanctioned by a bulk of the international community, but it’s possible other foreign companies, acting as middlemen, bought the components and then diverted them to the communist country.

North Korea gathered the components, assembled the missile, and shipped it to Russia, all within a relatively short time period, according to the report. The missile was recovered by CAR on Jan. 2, and the investigators determined it could not have been manufactured before March 2023.

Russia has looked to countries like North Korea and Iran for aid, having faced sanctions from the international community and spending hundreds of billions of dollars on military equipment in its stalled-out fight against Ukraine. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin have strengthened their relationship since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

“Due in part to our export and sanction controls, Russia has become increasingly isolated on the world stage, and they’ve been forced to look to like-minded states for military equipment,” White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing in January. “One of those states is North Korea.”

The U.S. is trying to stop American electronics from being siphoned off to foreign adversaries for military purposes. CAR previously discovered that Iranian missiles fired by Russia also contained a large amount of U.S. electronic components.

The White House NSC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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