French Intelligence online outlet reported that US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will be in charge of the CIA investigation into possible cooperation between Ukraine and North Korea with regards to the nuclear missile program of the latter.
This investigation comes as part of North Korea Ballistic Missile Investigation Act, and was prompted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The investigation should be conducted jointly with the national security services, with the Security Service of Ukraine in charge. US special services also investigate how Pyongyang got rocket fuel.
The North Korean missiles are based on a technology so complex that it would have been highly improbable for Pyongyang to have them developed in such a short time, as it took only 10 months for them to go from basic milestones to firing an ICBM. Quite a short time unless they were able to buy designs, hardware and expertise on the black market.
Analysts who studied photographs of the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, inspecting the new rocket motors concluded that they derive from designs that once powered the Soviet Union’s missile fleet. The engines were so powerful that a single missile could hurl 10 thermonuclear warheads between continents.
Those engines were linked to only a few former Soviet sites. Government investigators and experts have focused their inquiries on a missile factory in Dnipro, Ukraine. During the Cold War, the factory made the deadliest missiles in the Soviet arsenal, including the giant SS-18. It remained one of Russia’s primary producers of missiles even after Ukraine gained independence.