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North Korean Missiles in Ukraine: Analysis Shows High Failure Rate

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An official examines a North Korean missile fired by Russia in Kharkiv, Ukraine, last January—/Reuters=Yonhap News Agency file photo.

Ukrainian authorities have collected and analyzed debris from dozens of North Korean missiles fired by Russia, Reuters reported on the 7th.

The Ukrainian prosecution investigating Russian war crimes analyzed the debris of 21 out of approximately 50 North Korean ballistic missiles launched from December last year to February this year. It revealed that the failure rate was high.

The prosecution stated that about half of the North Korean missiles lost their programmed trajectory and exploded in the air and further explained that in such cases, the debris was not recovered. They also confirmed using the Hwasong-11 (KN-23) missile, known as the North Korean version of Iskander, based on the missile’s flight trajectory, speed, and point of origin. They mentioned that this missile was last launched on February 27th.

The prosecution added that the launch points of the 50 North Korean missiles varied, including western Russian cities like Belgorod, Voronezh, and Kursk.

The prosecution added, “We are looking into whether North Korea dispatched personnel to Russia to monitor the process of missile launches.”

Previously, the Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a UK-based weapons monitoring group, analyzed the debris of a missile that fell in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in January and concluded it was North Korea’s Hwasong-11 ballistic missile.

CAR discovered that, in recent years, most of the electronic components inside the missile were made in the U.S. and Europe.

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