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Poroshenko orders probe into reports about supplies of missile technologies to North Korea

August 16, 19:08 UTC+3 KIEV

The New York Times reported on August 14 that North Korea’s success in testing ballistic missiles was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukraine

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© Matthias Balk/dpa via AP

KIEV, August 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has ordered a probe into media reports about Ukraine’s possible supplies of missile technologies to North Korea.

"No matter how absurd accusations against Ukraine would look, we, as responsible partners, must thoroughly check reports by the New York Times about an alleged supply of rocket engines or respective technologies to North Korea," the president wrote in his Facebook account.

He also instructed the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine to carry out a probe into the situation with the assistance of the Interdepartmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation and Expert Control, and together with Yuzhmash rocket-making company and Yuzhnoye design bureau. It should report on the results within three days.

The Ukrainian leader believes the investigation will make it possible to "definitely confirm the farfetchedness of allegations about "Ukrainian trace in the North Korean missile story".

The New York Times reported on Monday, August 14, referring to a new study by Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, that "North Korea’s success in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears able to reach the United States was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory."

"The studies may solve the mystery of how North Korea began succeeding so suddenly after a string of fiery missile failures, some of which may have been caused by American sabotage of its supply chains and cyberattacks on its launches. After those failures, the North changed designs and suppliers in the past two years," the newspaper reported the expert as saying.

According to the newspaper, the most likely supplier of the engines was Yuzhmash in Ukraine’s Dnepr (former Dnepropetrovsk).

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Alexander Turchinov said that enterprises of Ukraine's defense and aerospace complex had not supplied weapons or military technologies to North Korea,

"Some foreign media have published false information than Yuzhmash gave missile technologies to North Korea," he said. "This information is groundless."

The Yuzhmash management said the Ukrainian rocket maker had no relation to North Korea’s missile programs.

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