North Korean Made Ballistic Missile Used by Russia Contains U.S. Parts

A North Korean-made short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) used by Russia in Ukraine was found to contain more than 290 foreign-sourced components. The study by the U.K.-based organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR) found that over 75% originated from the United States.

The study also found that the parts were manufactured in the last three years, which calls into question the sanctions placed on North Korea to hinder missile development. The names of the 26 manufacturers have been withheld by CAR. Most of the American parts found inside the SRBM are related to the guidance system.

The coding found on the parts indicates that at least some pieces had to be manufactured in March 2023 or after, hinting at the possibility that Russia originally received the components, although this is not confirmed.

The munition analyzed was the KN-23 or KN-24, recovered from Kharkiv on January 2nd. These missiles have a range of approximately 435 miles (700km) and 250 miles (400km). The KN-23 resembles the Russian Iskander-M, and the KN-24 is similar to the United States Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) given to Ukraine.

This recovery also confirmed the use of North Korean weapons by Russia, showing the two countries have further developed relations.