Go to contents

U.S. expert suggests a possibility of China supporting N. Korea

U.S. expert suggests a possibility of China supporting N. Korea

Posted October. 16, 2020 07:46,   

Updated October. 16, 2020 07:46


Questions are being raised as to China’s involvement in making North Korea’s transporter erector launchers (TEL) with 22 wheels, which was unveiled along with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in the military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party. Some suggest a possibility that North Korea secured banned items such as drones for filming and cameras through China.

In an interview with Voice of America, defense expert Bruce Bennett of Rand Corporation said manufacturing such small TELs require advanced technologies, which could mean they were delivered to Pyongyang after being made in China. He pointed out that both importing manufactured vehicles and learning relevant technology from China violate sanctions against North Korea.

Experts claim that North Korea could not have developed the launchers without China’s help as it does not have facilities for it. “The six launchers we saw at previous military parades were logging trucks that were modified after being illicitly imported from China,” said Shin In-gyun, professor of North Korean studies at Kyonggi University. “They were seen with more tires, and it is likely that the North imported TELs from outside as production of engines and important parts is difficult for them.”

It is also believed that electronic devices that appeared in the military parade are from overseas. “Drone DJ,” a U.S. website that delivers drone-related news, said on Wednesday the drones shown in the parade are “Mavic Pro 2” by Chinese drone manufacturer DJI. DJI is the number one commercial drone producer in the world, which takes up 70 to 80 percent of the global market share. A United Nations Security Council resolution bans the export of drones to Pyongyang.

Some say that there are loopholes in the sanctions as it was evident in the parade that the North has been developing new weapons and importing banned items.

Oh-Hyuk Kwon hyuk@donga.com