Ukraine Suspected of Providing N. Korea with Nuclear Materials

In 2014, the US State Department lent support to Ukraine in order to remove their pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. The stated intention was to turn the Ukraine into a nation that would be NATO friendly, existing along the western border of Russia. But now according to reports echoed by the New York Times, the transformation of the Ukraine into a US-friendly hard point in Eastern Europe has resulted in the country becoming the secret source of North Korea’s ballistic nuclear weapons program.

According to the report, North Korea has been making illegal purchases of rocket engines from a factory in Ukraine. The report is based on the analysis of a series of photographs which show Kim Jong-un reviewing the new rocket engines and concludes that the massive machines were derived from designs that were once used as a power source for the missile fleet belonging to the now defunct Soviet Union.

Because the alleged Soviet designed engines have been linked to a small number of sites, investigators have focused their attention on one particular missile factory in Dnipro, Ukraine. There, close to the Russian border- Russia has been staging a series of military activities in an attempt to take that small part of the country. The most powerful Russian missiles produced during the Cold War were produced in this factory. But since the ouster of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, the factory has been largely underfunded as the Russians canceled scheduled improvements for their nuclear missile fleet.

Micheal Elleman, a missile ballistics expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies told the New York Times, “These engines probably came from Ukraine illegally. The question is how many of these missiles North Korea has and whether or not the Ukrainians are continuing to help them now. It’s very worrying.”

Elleman added that the United Nations discovered six years ago that North Korea attempted to steal nuclear secrets from the complex in Dnipro. Two North Koreans were apprehended and the UN says that the information they were trying to obtain was focused on “missile systems, liquid-propellant engines, spacecraft, and missile fuel supply systems.”

The factory in question denies exporting any missile related technology outside of the Ukraine.

These allegations are serious and should be investigated. But they are based on a series of conclusions derived from inconclusive evidence. So far, the strongest piece of that evidence is a photograph which shows the inside of one of the sections of a missile. In the photograph, no engine parts or any internal working components are visible. It is a portion of the missile’s casing which is revealed- a portion of the casing that would be obscured before the separation of sections during flight. In it, we see four evenly spaced circular structures on the underside of the casing.

In the image, an overlay of the known schematics of the missile is utilized to display the similarities. A series of diagrams are presented in order to show the missile that Elleman says matches the photograph.

All of this speculation is based on two images. In one, the end of a large horizontal metal tube is seen. The features of the tube appear to be heavily rusted and there are many apparently broken and irregular pieces. In the image, about 60% of the device is obscured by what appears to be very young North Korean officers.

Another photograph shows a group of Korean military personnel arranged to listen to a speaker in a cleared section of a warehouse. Around them, are very large tubes- tubes which could be anything. They could be tanks of liquid. To be fair, in the distance there is one piece of machinery which looks vaguely similar to a nose cone.

In short, one image shows what could be a distillery- and the other shows the end of a tube which appears to be long out of use.

It is suspicious that Russia would be conducting long term/low-intensity military maneuvers on the border near the factory. The fact that two North Koreans were captured claiming to have been after missile secrets is also disturbing.

However, the sources of this story are dubious. The NYT has been complicit in pushing Pro-Hillary messages much to the detriment of their business model. And the UN is in the business of posing a military threat to Russia- a business that is threatened by Trump’s friendly attitude toward Russia.

The White House has said nothing about this story. Donald Trump, wisely, is playing his cards close to his chest on this issue.

~ American Liberty Report


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