MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin who oversees the defense sector said on Wednesday he had no proofs of a possible know-how leak from Ukraine to North Korea.
"I personally do not have any data so far that such a leak could have occurred and that we have irrefutable evidence of this. But all these explanations by Ukrainian colleagues that the copies of engines have possibly got into the hands of North Koreans look very strange," he said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV Channel.
The Russian vice-premier also commented on a statement by the US intelligence that North Korea could develop rocket engines on its own, without reliance on imported products.
"But you spoke about quite different things. Why did you earlier claim that it is impossible to create such engines on the technological basis of such a poor country as North Korea? Or did they get frightened for their Ukrainian puppets? To my mind, the situation looks very dangerous: if this is so, the talk can be about Ukraine’s violation of all existing international restrictions on the delivery of missile technologies," Rogozin said.
The vice-premier wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday that "in order to produce a ‘copy,’ it is necessary to have available either the original of an engine or its detailed drawings." That is why, North Korea could not organize the production of rocket engines without Ukrainian specialists. As the vice-premier noted, "this way or another, the talk is about smuggling by skirting all the existing extremely strict international bans," the Russian deputy prime minister said.
Earlier on Monday, The New York Times reported, quoting the results of a research conducted by Senior Fellow for Missile Defense of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Michael Elleman and covert data of the American security agencies, saying that North Korea’s test firing of an ocean-spanning missile might be connected with the purchase of Ukrainian-made rocket engines on the black market.
Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov said in response that Ukraine’s defense and aerospace production plants had not supplied armaments and military technologies to North Korea. Ukraine’s enterprise Yuzhmash, in its part, affirmed that it had nothing to do with North Korean missile programs.