Espreso. Global

North Korean missiles undergo war test in Ukraine

22 January, 2024 Monday
13:05

Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing dwindling missile resources in the prolonged Ukrainian war, has sought help from North Korea. The North Korean missiles, similar to Russia’s Iskander series, are being deployed in the war but their performance against US defense systems is questionable.

UK presents evidence of North Korean arms shipments to Russia 

According to The Guardian, the UK has submitted satellite images to the UN, aiming to launch an inquiry into potential arms deals breaching international sanctions. North Korea allegedly supplied missiles and artillery to Russia for the Ukraine war after a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.

Recent talks between Putin and North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui suggest an expanding relationship, raising concerns. UK defense intelligence, supported by US claims, has revealed North Korean munitions potentially used by Russia in Ukraine, violating UN resolutions.

Missiles’ performance 

Bloomberg states that a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies highlights the success of the US Patriot air defense system against Russian missiles. In June, the Patriot system intercepted all 34 Iskander and Kinzhal missiles aimed at Kyiv. Experts suggest this success raises doubts about the effectiveness of the North Korean KN-23 and KN-24 missiles that Kim Jong Un is supplying.

Shaan Shaikh from CSIS notes, “The Patriot missile defense system should be able to intercept North Korea’s short-range ballistic missiles, given its effectiveness against Russian Iskanders.”

According to the article, Kim’s motivations for providing missiles to Putin go beyond commercial interests. The missiles, priced at $5 million each, could offer North Korea a much-needed source of revenue, but they also serve as a strategic move for Kim to gain insights into the performance of his weaponry in real-world combat.

While the exact performance of North Korean missiles is unknown, their transfer to Russia expands the arsenal available for attacks on Ukraine. The International Institute for Strategic Studies acknowledges the significance of North Korea's missile transfer, especially as Russia faces the depletion of its prewar stockpile.

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