Chronology of North Korea’s Missile Trade and Developments: 1992-1993

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CNS Resources on North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Program:

1960-1979
1980-1989
1990-1991
1992-1993
1994-1995
1996-1998
1999

North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Program

1992

Pakistani officials are seen in North Korea examining a prototype model of the Nodong-1.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 16 July 1992, p.A3.

Early 1992

According to Western intelligence sources, Iran and North Korea sign a joint development agreement for the Nodong-1 missile. A Pentagon analyst speculates that North Korea will need “a substantial input of foreign technology,” especially with regard to guidance technology, in order to complete development of the new missile.

Kenneth Timmerman, Mednews, 21 December 1992, pp.4-5.

January 1992

In testimony before the US Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, CIA Director Robert Gates states that “North Korea’s (nuclear and ballistic missile) programs are our most urgent national security threat in East Asia. North Korea has invested heavily in the military and depends on arms sales for much of its hard currency earnings.” North Korea has sold indigenously produced modified Scuds to Iran and Syria, and is not far from having a more advanced missile with a range of at least 1,000km (Nodong-1).

Legislate Report for the 102nd Congress (unofficial), Testimony of CIA Director Robert Gates before Senate Government Affairs Committee, 15 January 1992.

Early 1992

According to US administration officials, the North Korean ship Dae Hung Ho departs North Korea bound for Syria with an unknown number of Scud-C missiles and associated production or assembly equipment such as machine tool “parts.” The shipment is worth a reported $100 million, and is part of an overall missile sale worth $250 million.

Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, 21 February 1992, p.A4. Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 10 March 1992, p.A3.

February 1992

South Korea’s ambassador to the United States, Hyun Hong-choo, cites North Korea’s extensive missile production as “corroborative evidence” that North Korea is determined to develop nuclear weapons.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 21 February 1992, p.A9.

February 1992

Anatoliy Rubtsov begins efforts to recruit strategic weapons specialists in Miass for employment abroad, including in North Korea, offering wages of $1,500 to $4,000 per month. The number of Russian specialists eventually involved is at least 60.

UPI, 10 February 1993, in Executive News Service, 10 February 1993. Mikhail Popov, Rabochaya Tribuna, (Moscow) 11 February 1993, p.3; in JPRS-UST-93-002, 8 April 1993, p.52.

February 1992

According to a US expert, “the North Korean missile development program proceeded in parallel with the nuclear development program,” and “therefore, we assume that a weapon ultimately would be mated with a missile delivery system.”

Dan Oberdorfer, Washington Post, 23 February 1992, pp.A1, A26.

February 1992

It is reported that North Korea has configured the Scud-C to accurately deliver a chemical warhead.

Dennis Gormley, Defense News, 17 February 1992, pp.31-32.

16 February 1992

The German Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag reports that North Korea and Libya are to build a missile test site as part of an effort to jointly develop a new 1,000km-range IRBM based on the Scud missile.

Hwang Pyong-tae, Hanguk Ilbo, (Seoul), 17 February 1992, p.1; in JPRS-TND-92-005, 3 March 1992, p.4.

Late February 1992

The Iranian freighter, Iran Salam, which is suspected of carrying North Korean missile-related cargo, is being tracked by US intelligence between Singapore and the Iranian port of Bandar Khomeini.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 10 March 1992, p.A3.

9 March 1992

The North Korean freighter Dae Hung Ho docks at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas with what is believed to be a load of Scud-C missiles and missile equipment. The missiles are unloaded and will allegedly be airlifted to Syria. The ship evaded a US naval task force in the Arabian Sea assigned to “dissuade” the ship from delivering its cargo.

Barton Gellman, Washington Post, 12 March 1992, pp.A1, A23. Douglas Waller, Newsweek, 22 June 1992, pp.42-46.

11 March 1992

The Dae Hung Ho departs Bandar Abbas and travels through the Suez Canal to Tartus, Syria where it reportedly delivers manufacturing equipment for underground Scud missile factories that the United States says Syria is building in Hama and Aleppo. There are two fuel plants at Hama; one liquid-fuel for Scud-type missiles and one solid-fuel for M-9 type missiles. Other reports indicate that there is a plant near Hama dedicated to guidance systems. The Dae Hung Ho cargo off-loaded at Bandar Abbas in Iran is reportedly destined for the Syrian liquid-fuel plant.

George Lardner Jr., Washington Post, 14 March 1992, p.A17. Douglas Waller, Newsweek, 22 June 1992, pp.42-46. Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 16 July 1992, p.A3. Yonhap (Seoul), 15 August 1992; in JPRS-TND-92-030, 27 August 1992, p.9. Arye Egozi, Yedi’ot Aharonot, (Tel Aviv), 17 August 1992, p.5; in JPRS-TND-92-029, 20 August 1992, p.15. Neal Sandler, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 22 August 1992, p.1.  Jane’s Defence Weekly, 5 September 1992, p.31.

(Note: The Scud-C missiles allegedly delivered to Bandar Abbas are liquid-fuel missiles)

13 March 1992

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Clark states that North Korea is now the only country selling complete missile systems that exceed Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) parameters to the Third World. He also states that North Korea will most likely test its Nodong-1 missile early this year, and that it may already be trying to make advance sales in the Middle East.

Statement of Richard A. Clarke, Assistant Secretary of Politico-Military Affairs, Department of State, Before the Joint Economic Committee Subcommittee on Technology and National Security, 13 March 1992. Reuters, 13 March 1993; in Executive News Service, 16 March 1992.

17 March 1992

US Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, referring to the alleged missile delivery by the DPRK ship Dae Hung Ho, states, “We have not confirmed that.”

Washington Times, 13 March 1992, p.A2.

27 March 1992

The United States announces the imposition of sanctions on Iran and North Korea on grounds that the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics and the North Korean firms Lyonggaksan Machineries and Equipment Export Corporation and Changgwang Credit Corporation have been involved in “missile technology proliferation.” The sanctions will last for two years beginning 6 March 1992.

Federal Register, Vol. 57, No. 67, 7 April 1992, pp.1167-1168.

May 1992

Meeting with a Carnegie Endowment delegation visiting Pyongyang from 28 April 1992 to 4 May 1992, North Korea’s foreign minister Kim Yong Nam states, “Other countries have associated themselves with it [the MTCR]why not us? It would be no problem for our country to associate itself with such a regime because we oppose the proliferation of missiles.”

Preliminary Report: Carnegie Endowment Delegation Visit to Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 28 April 1992– 4 May 1992.

June 1992

According to unnamed military sources in Tokyo, North Korea conducts an unsuccessful test firing of the Nodong-1 missile. The source is quoted by the Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun.

Reuters, 24 March 1993, in Executive News Service, 24 March 1993.

2 June 1992

Libya denies a report alleging that it is attempting to acquire Nodong-1, and intends to establish an indigenous production capability for the missile.

JANA, 2 June 1992; in JPRS-TND-92-018, 10 June 1992, pp.9-10.

16 June 1992

The US Bureau of Export Administration places tighter restrictions on North Korea’s Nodong-1 and Scud development projects under the new Supplement 6 list to the EAR Part 778.

Federal Register, Vol. 57, No. 116, 16 June 1992, p.26773.

July 1992

The CIA Nonproliferation Center provides information to US policy-makers confirming that the cargo delivered by the North Korean ship Dae Hung Ho consisted of missile manufacturing components, which were subsequently transferred to Syria from Tehran by Syrian aircraft. The shipment is allegedly valued at $100 million. Other information indicates that in exchange for allowing the transshipment, Iran is to be permitted to supply weapons to Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 16 July 1992, p.A3. Terrence Kernan, Defense News, 26 April 1993, p.3.

August 1992

Syria conducts two tests of Scud-C missiles acquired from North Korea via Iran. North Korean military personnel are present in Syria for the tests. Israel claims that these tests are the last tests before the missile becomes operational.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 16 July 1992, p.A3. Arye Egozi, Yedi’ot Aharonot, (Tel Aviv), 17 August 1992, p.5; in JPRS-TND-92-029, 20 August 1992, p.15. Neal Sandler, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 22 August 1992, p.11. Jane’s Defence Weekly, 5 September 1992, p.31.

August 1992

Ten of the group of Russian strategic weapons specialists recruited by Anatoliy Rubtsov to work in North Korea travels there to ensure the veracity of the employment offer.

Itar-Tass, 10 February 1993; in FBIS-SOV-93-026, 10 February 1993, pp.11-12.

October 1992

Ten Russian nuclear physicists are prevented from traveling to North Korea.

Yonhap (Seoul), 21 December 1992; in JPRS-TND-93-002, 15 January 1993, p.6.

(Note: There are two groups of experts attempting to travel to North Korea, one composed of missile specialists and the other of nuclear specialists.)

October 1992

An Israeli official visits Pyongyang where he is given assurances that in exchange for economic assistance North Korea will not sell missiles.

Korea Times, 16 June 1993, p.2; in FBIS-EAS-93-114, 16 June 1993, p.20.

(Note: The source may be misreporting the date of Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General Bentsur’s secret visit to Pyongyang).

15 October 1992

A group of 32 Russian engineers, planning to fly to North Korea to assist in the modernization of ballistic missiles, is intercepted by Russian police at Moscow International Sheremetyevo-2 Airport. Most of the engineers were from the Makeyev Design Bureau in Miass, which is responsible for SLBMs and Scud tactical ballistic missiles. The recruiting agent was Anatoliy Rubtsov, a Russian posing as a government official, who was actually in the employ of North Korea.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 21 December 1992; in JPRS-TND-93-001, 7 January 1993, p.6. Itar-Tass, 4 February 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-005, 12 February 1993, pp.14-15. UPI, 10 February 1993; in Executive News Service, 10 February 1993. Itar-Tass, 24 February 1993; in FBIS-SOV-93-035, 24 February 1993, pp.11-12. Armed Forces Journal International, April 1993, p.9.

Late October 1992

A North Korean ship laden with up to 100 Scud-C missiles departs North Korea bound for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas; half of the delivery is to be transported overland to Syria, the other half is to go to Iran.

Charles Fenyvesi, ed., US News & World Report, 9 November 1992, p.30.

Early November 1992

Israeli foreign ministry Deputy Director-General Eitan Bentsur reportedly meets in secret with North Korean officials in Pyongyang to protest North Korea’s Scud-C missile sales to Syria.

Reuters, 4 November 1992; in Executive News Service, 4 November 1992.

5 November 1992

A second group of Russian missile technicians is stopped from flying to North Korea. This group brings the total number of missile technicians detained to 64.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 21 December 1992; in JPRS-TND-93-001, 7 December 1993, p.6.

8 August 1992 

Thirty-six former Soviet nuclear physicists are stopped at Khabarovsk airport while attempting to travel to North Korea.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 20 December 1992; in JPRS-TND-93-001, 7 January 1992, p.6. KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 21 December 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-001, 7 January 1993, p.6. Ostankino Television First Channel Network (Moscow), 2 April 1993; in FBIS-SOV-92-064, 6 April 1993, pp.27-28.

(Note: The point of departure of the nuclear specialists has been given as both Khabarovsk and Moscow. However, there are reportedly no scheduled flights to North Korea from Khabarovsk.)

Late 1992

Iran’s is attempting to extend the range of the Silkworm missile to 400km at a Silkworm assembly facility near Bandar Abbas.

Kenneth Timmerman, Mednews, 21 December 1992, pp.4-5.

Early 1993

The BND reports that North Korea commissioned three international shipping companies to transport “special metals” acquired on Berlin’s grey market for the production of missile “launch pads.”

Focus (Munich), 22 March 1993, p.15; in FBIS-WEU-93-053, 22 March 1993, p.6.

Early 1993

Iran takes delivery of an unspecified number of Scud-C missiles and launchers as part of a deal with North Korea.

Jerusalem Israel Television Network, 9 February 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-006, 5 March 1993, pp.13-14.

(Note: The delivery in question may have been from the ship reported in late October 1992)

1993

A Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service report on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction states that North Korea is seeking specialists from overseas “in order to convert missile manufacturing into a competitive export sector.” North Korea is using Egyptian technology to upgrade its Scud missiles for export to the Middle East.

Report by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Moscow, 1993, “A New Challenge After the Cold War: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”; in JPRS-TND-93-007, 5 March 1993, pp.1-39.

(Note: Egypt has a variety of technologies that might interest North Korea, including carbon-carbon, advanced gyroscopes, and solid-fuel. This may also refer to a leakage of UK technology obtained in the BAe/AOI joint development project.)

January 1993

The group of scientists, detained in October 1992 while trying to go to North Korea, has returned to Miass after being held for two months at a rest house near Moscow.

Itar-Tass, 4 February 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-005, 12 February 1993, pp.14-15. Itar-Tass, 10 February 1993; in FBIS-SOV-92-026, 10 February 1993, pp.11-12.

January 1993

North Korea gives assurances to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Kunadze that it will not employ Russian missile and nuclear scientists and engineers. The North Korean decision follows threats by Kunadze to suspend diplomatic relations if demands not to employ Russian technicians were not met.

Washington Post, 17 February 1993, p.A2.

12 January 1993

Iranian Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Mohsen Rezai travels to Pyongyang from Beijing to finalize new agreements regarding weapon systems including ballistic missiles. Shortly before Rezai’s departure from Iran, a member of the Iranian parliament reveals that North Korea has demanded a cash payment of $2.4 to $2.7 billion for the 200 to 300 Scud-B missiles delivered to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War.

Kenneth Timmerman, Mednews, 26 January 1993, pp.3-4.

(Note: The number of missiles mentioned may be excessive given North Korean production capabilities and the level of Iranian Scud-B use during the two “Wars of the Cities.” During that stage of the Iran-Iraq War, Iran fired approximately 91 Scud-B missiles. Also, it is unlikely that North Korea would demand a cash payment given the financial arrangements already in place with Iran).

February 1993

CIA Director James Woolsey, in testimony before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, states, “North Korea apparently has no threshold governing its sales [of missiles]; it is willing to sell to any country with the cash to pay.”

Aerospace Daily, 29 June 1993, pp.538-539.

February 1993

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Kunadze visits North Korea in connection with the Russian demand that North Korea cease attempts to recruit Russian nuclear and missile engineers.

Steven Zaloga, Armed Forces Journal, May 1993, p.16.

24 February 1993

Yuriy Bessarabov, a leading expert from the Russian firm Unique Defense Enterprise, says that low wages were responsible for the attempt by 60 scientists from the machine design bureau in Miass, Chelyabinsk region to fly to North Korea to train personnel for strategic arms development programs. Most of the scientists were strategic missile experts, which may indicate that North Korea is seeking assistance in designing a warhead and delivery system for a nuclear device. Larry Niksch, a Congressional Research Service Asian specialist, says that it is possible that North Korea has developed a nuclear bomb but does not yet have a warhead.

Michael Breen, Washington Times, 19 February 1993, pp.A1, A6. Itar-Tass, 24 February 1993; in FBIS-SOV-93-035, 24 February 1993, pp.11-12.

12 March 1993

North Korea announces its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) because of IAEA efforts to conduct a special inspection of its nuclear facilities. According to the NPT, a nation’s withdrawal becomes effective three months after it is announced.

Arms Control Reporter, March 1993.  IAEA Bulletin, February 1993, pp.44-45.

28 March 1993

A 21-member Iranian delegation, headed by the IRGC commander in charge of the Iranian SSM force Brig. Gen. Hossein Mantequei and officials from the Iranian Defense Industries Organization and the missile division of the IRGC, visits Pyongyang in the fifth such visit in the past year. The delegation is to observe the final tests of the Nodong-1 missile and be trained in its use. According to the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, some of the delegation will stay in North Korea for at least one month. The delegation’s presence indicates that a final deal, which may include the purchase of fixed and mobile launchers, could be imminent. The delegation may also have established a timetable for the testing of Nodong-2 in Iran. US officials believe that Iranian oil may be exchanged for the missiles; Iran supplies approximately 40 percent of North Korea’s oil needs.

Douglas Jehl, New York Times International, 8 April 1993, p.A9. Alan Elsner, Reuters, 8 April 1993; in Executive News Service, 9 April 1993. Kevin Rafferty, Guardian (London), 26 October 1993.

Late March 1993

North Korea completes development of the Nodong-1 missile.

Yonhap (Seoul), 16 July 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-138, 21 July 1993, p.33.

Early February 1993

Foreign diplomats in Beijing claim that North Korea is nearing final testing of a 1,000km-range [Nodong-1] missile.

Vladimir Skosyrev, Izvestiya (Moscow), 10 April 1993, p.3; in FBIS-SOV-93-069, 13 April 1993, p.6.

3 April 1993

North Korea denies reports that it is exporting to the Middle East missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads, and dismisses the reports as a US propaganda plot.

KCNA (Pyongyang), 3 April 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-063, 5 April 1993, p.28.

6 April 1993

China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Wu Jianmin, states that US threats of instigating UN economic sanctions against North Korea for missile proliferation will only serve to complicate the situation.

Vladimir Skosyrev, Izvestiya (Moscow), 10 April 1993, p.3; in FBIS-SOV-93-069, 13 April 1993, p.6.

7 April 1993

A US official suggests that the March 1993 Iranian delegation to North Korea may have explored the possibility of assembling the Nodong-1 in Iran from components produced in North Korea in order to more easily conceal the delivery of the missiles. Officials say that Iran hopes to acquire up to 150 Nodong-1 missiles.

Douglas Jehl, New York Times International, 8 April 1993, p.A9.

18 April 1993

North Korea denies allegations by Western intelligence that the North Korea and Iran are engaged in a cooperative effort to develop a ballistic missile system capable of striking Japan with nuclear and chemical warheads. Iran is allegedly providing North Korea $500 million for missile development in exchange for an unknown number of nuclear bombs and plans for nuclear weapons reprocessing plants.

Charles Fenyvesi, ed., US News & World Report, 29 March 1993, p.18. Washington Times, 19 April 1993, p.A2.

(Note: While North Korea may be able to offer some assistance in the area of nuclear weapon development, it is doubtful that it is in a position to provide any working models)

Late April 1993

According to some analysts (unnamed), Syrian production of North Korean Scud-C missiles at Aleppo and Hama begins.

Robert S. Greenberg, Wall Street Journal, 19 July 1993, p.A10.

29 May 1993-30 May 1993

North Korea successfully launches four missiles from Taepodong in Hwadae-gun, North Hamgyong Province, two of which are thought to be Nodong-1 missiles. The missiles were reportedly fired in the direction of the Japanese Noto Peninsula at target buoys in the Sea of Japan. One missile traveled 500km; another traveled 100km; the remaining two fell short of 100km. Two North Korean naval vessels, a Najin-class frigate and a minesweeper, are positioned 30 km apart about 350km off Noto, reportedly to monitor the launch. Israel’s Mossad reportedly warned the United States and Japan of the test weeks in advance.

Kyodo (Tokyo), 12 June 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-112, 14 June 1993, p.5. David E. Sanger, New York Times, 13 June 1993, p.7. Kim Yong-kol, Hanguk Ilbo (Seoul), 16 June 1993, p.4; in FBIS-EAS-93-114, 16 June 1993, p.20. Yonhap (Seoul), 24 June 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-120, 24 June 1993, p.19.  Aerospace Daily, 29 June 1993, pp.538-539.

June 1993

IRGC commander General Mohsen Rezai holds talks with North Korean defense chiefs in Pyongyang, and urges closer ties between the two nations.

Reuters, 2 December 1993.

(Note: This visit may be the same as that mentioned in entry 16 June 1993)

11 June 1993

North Korea announces the suspension of its decision to withdraw from the NPT.

Douglas Busvine, Reuters, 16 June 1993.

(Note: According to North Korea, this decision does not return North Korea to IAEA safeguards. North Korea characterizes its position as somewhere between full-member and non-member status. However, the IAEA considers North Korea subject to full safeguards.)

11 June 1993

North Korea denies sending any invitation to Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres in December 1992, and also denies ever having sold weapons or missiles to Arab nations in the Middle East.

Korea Times, 16 June 1993, p.2; in FBIS-EAS-93-114, 16 June 1993, p.20.

14 June 1993

Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres expresses his desire to visit North Korea in order to convince them not to sell missiles to Iran.

Korea Times, 16 June 1993, p.2; in FBIS-EAS-93-114, 16 June 1993, p.20.

16 June 1993

In Pyongyang, North Korea and Iran sign a 1993-94 plan for scientific, technological, educational, and cultural exchange.

KCNA (Pyongyang), 16 June 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-114, 16 June 1993, p.16.

17 June 1993

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi paper based in London, reports that there is a tripartite deal between Iraq, Iran, and North Korea in which Iran will transship Iraqi oil to North Korea through the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The deal is worth $120 million, and its proceeds are to be divided equally between Iran and Iraq. The Iranian portion will be transferred to the North Korean bank, Changgwang, and is to finance the purchase of “long-range” missiles from North Korea. Iranian deputy defense minister Ahmad Wahedi is handling the Iran-North Korean negotiations with the assistance of the head of the defense ministry’s missile department, Montaqi, and the IRGC representative in Pyongyang, Tabaqi. The Iranian foreign ministry advisor is conducting negotiations between Iraq and Iran.

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Riyadh), 17 June 1993, p.1; in FBIS-NES-93-118, 22 June 1993, p.53.

25 June 1993

In Beijing, Israeli foreign ministry deputy director Eitan Bentsur meets with North Korean officials in an attempt to dissuade them from concluding a reported deal to provide Iran with 150 Nodong-1 missiles in exchange for oil and cash. The meeting reportedly ends with the North Korean officials demanding cash for compliance.

Reuters, 17 August 1993; in US-Korea Review, September 1993, p.3. Jon B. Wolfsthal, Arms Control Today, September 1993, p.24.

(Note: There are additional reports that place Bentsur in Pyongyang at about this time performing the same mission. It is uncertain whether this visit was complementary to or confused with the Beijing visit)

27 June 1993

The Israeli foreign ministry Director-General meets with a ranking official of the Communist Party of North Korea to discuss Israeli concerns about the possible sale of missiles to Iran that could reach Israel.

Reuters, 3 July 1993.

(Note: The Israeli is probably Deputy Director-General Eitan Bentsur)

July 1993

CIA Director James Woolsey, in testimony before Congress, states that the Nodong-1 missile, which could be fitted with nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) as well as high-explosive (HE) warheads, had been tested, and that “of greatest concern is North Korea’s continued efforts

to sell the missile abroad particularly to dangerous and potentially hostile countries such as Iran.” Director Woolsey further states that “with this missile, North Korea could reach Japan; Iran could reach Israel; and Libya could reach US bases and allied capitals in the Mediterranean Region.”

Christian Science Monitor, 27 December 1993, p. 4. Asian Recorder, 15 January 1994, p.23686.

3 July 1993

North Korea’s ambassador to China tells reporters that if it were true that North Korea tested a missile on 29 May 1993, then it was a normal event as countries often need to conduct military exercises.

Kyodo (Tokyo), 24 September 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-185, 27 September 1993.

14 July 1993

According to the Japanese daily, Sankei Shimbun, the Iranian delegation of April 1993 was to sign a contract for the purchase of 150 Nodong-1 missiles, which reportedly have a CEP of 2,000m. The missile was originally designed with a range of 1,000km, but, at Iranian request, this was increased to 1,300km so that the missile could reach Israel.

Yonhap (Seoul), 14 July 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-134, 15 July 1993, p.18.

2 August 1993

US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Frank Wisner, and his Japanese counterpart, Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Shigeru Hatakeyama, agree to form a joint committee to monitor development of the Nodong-1 missile. The committee will comprise officials from the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and the Japanese Defense Agency’s (JDA) Policy Bureau.

Naoaki Usui, Defense News, 9 August 1993, p.28.

4 August 1993

Two Russian civilian Condor transport aircraft and crews, leased by the Syrians, depart with seven MAZ 543 “chassis” from Sunan airfield in North Korea, landing in Damascus, Syria on 5 August 1993. According to US intelligence sources, the MAZ 543s are probably taken from Damascus to a missile plant in Nasariya for use as mobile missile launchers.

Qol Yisra’el (Jerusalem), 20 September 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-032, 12 October 1993, p.34. Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, 12 December 1993, pp.1, 20. David E. Sanger, New York Times, 20 January 1994, p.A5.

(Note: There are unconfirmed reports that the two aircraft carried spare parts for Scud missiles. The MAZ 543s were not complete mobile missile launchers, and may have been delivered to Nasariya for the attachment of the erector unit)

8 August 1993

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says that Syria has received Scud-C missiles from North Korea via Russian aircraft, and that Iran may also have received Scud-Cs in this fashion.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 15 August 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-027, 26 August 1993, p.9.

(Note: It is unclear whether Rabin is referring to the 5 August 1993 delivery of MAZ 543 TELs to Syria or if there has been another delivery since)

11 August 1993

North Korean Army First Lieutenant Yim Yong-son defects to the South Korea. He discloses that North Korea is currently constructing two additional underground long-range missile launch bases, one at Chunggang, Chagang Province and the other at Wonsan, Kangwon Province. Yim states that missiles launched from these bases will be able to strike US military facilities in Japan and Guam.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 24 August 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-162, 24 August 1993, p.23. Larry DiRita, Wall Street Journal Europe, 26 August 1993.

16 August 1993

At the behest of the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin announces that Israel will break off discussions with North Korea designed to halt the sale of North Korean missiles to the Middle East.

Reuters, 17 August 1993, in US-Korea Review, September 1993, p.3. Jon B. Wolfsthal, Arms Control Today, September 1993, p.24.

14 September 1993

US Army General (ret.) Robert W. RisCassi (former Commander US Forces Korea), commenting on the 29 May 1993 test-launch of the Nodong-1 missile, states, “there was no telemetry with the shots, which was strange, in that there was no close-down of the sea and air space in that direction, which is odd when you are making a missile that you’ve not tested before and are firing at any extended ranges.” Because of this, RisCassi suspects that the test was a demonstration for Middle East buyers, rather than a serious technical evaluation.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 15 September 1993, p.A6.

(Note: While the test may have been part of a sales pitch, given the number of missiles available to North Korea and the cost of those systems, it is not likely that it would fire a missile off just for show. Although there was no intercepted telemetry, the Chinese have been known to use on-board data recording and recovery packages in missile testing. Furthermore, the flight path was lined with North Korean naval vessels, and the flight took place within range of coastal monitoring stations, either of which could provide valuable data)

20 September 1993

Responding to questions regarding the use of Russian aircraft to transport North Korean missiles to Iran, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoliy Adamishin states, “To my knowledge there were no ballistic missiles …you cannot check them all, but to my knowledge there were no military equipment [sic] in these flights.”

Jack Katzenell, Qol Yisra’el (Jerusalem), 20 September 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-032, 12 October 1993, p.34.

20 September 1993

A Russian government official states that a Russian intelligence official recently informed the South Korean government that Russia is keeping watch over 3,500 nuclear physicists to prevent the transfer of nuclear technology abroad.

Chungang Ilbo (Seoul), 20 September 1994, p.1; in JPRS-TND-93-032, 12 October 1994, pp.38-39.

24 September 1993

The North Korean foreign ministry formally confirms the missile test firing [on 29 May 1993], stating that Japan was fomenting anti-North Korean sentiment in reference to the “normal missile drill.”

Kyodo (Tokyo), 24 September 1993; in FBIS-EAS-93-185, 27 September 1993.

October 1993

Japanese Foreign Minister Tsutomu Hata meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati in New York. Although Velayati denies any Iranian involvement in North Korea’s missile program, Hata claims that the Iranian presence at the May 1993 North Korean missile test indicates that they were involved. Hata warns Velayati that Iran will find itself isolated if it persists in this relationship with North Korea.

Lally Weymouth, Washington Post, 1 November 1993, p.A17.

October 1993

The Japanese defense ministry begins a secret study of the feasibility of developing five to seven military reconnaissance satellites to give the Japanese Self-Defense Forces the ability to track North Korean activity, such as ballistic missile launches, 24 hours a day. The study is in response to the May 1993 North Korean launch of a Nodong-1 missile that impacted in the Sea of Japan off the Noto Peninsula.

Eugene Moosa, Reuters, 7 September 1994; in Executive News Service, 7 September 1994.

22 October 1993

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reports that the Nodong-2 is to be tested in the Lut Desert in southeast Iran in late October 1993 or early November 1993.

Kevin Rafferty, Guardian (London), 26 October 1993.

22 October 1993

A 36-page top secret memorandum, by the Center for Military Strategic Analysis at the Russian General Staff titled, “The Russian Federation Military Policy in the Asia Pacific Region Under the New Military Political Conditions,” states that 160 Russian “scholars” have assisted North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs since the mid-1980s. The memorandum clearly states that Russia was assisting North Korea’s nuclear missile program in the late 1980s. The contents of the memorandum are disclosed by the Japanese weekly Shukan Bunshun in January 1994.

Izvestiya (Moscow), 27 January 1994, pp.1, 4; in JPRS-TND-94-005, 25 February 1994, pp.48-49. Radio Moscow, 29 January 1994; in FBIS-SOV-94-020, 31 January 1994, p.15. Pavel Felgengauer, Segodnya (Moscow), 29 January 1994, p.1; in FBIS-SOV-94-020, 31 January 1994, pp.15-16. Sergey Agafonov, Izvestiya (Moscow), 29 January 1994, p.3; in FBIS-SOV-94-020, 31 January 1994, p.17.

28 October 1993

North Korea denies claims made in the Western press that it intends to test a ballistic missile in Iran, stating, “it is inconceivable that the DPRK, making consistent efforts for world peace and security, intends to conduct a missile launching test in a far off foreign country.”  IRNA also denies these claims.

Kevin Rafferty, Guardian (London), 26 October 1993. KCNA (Pyongyang), 28 October 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-035, 10 November 1993, p.13.

November 1993

The scheduled test of a Nodong missile in Iran is postponed.

Washington Times, 25 February 1994.

November 1993

A Japanese defense ministry official states that North Korea is nearing completion of the Nodong missile.

BMD Monitor, 28 January 1994, p.40.

November 1993

It is reported that Syria and Iran are jointly developing a cruise missile with Chinese and North Korean technology as well as technology from Germany and other European nations. The development of the missile is centered on Iranian Ministry of Heavy Industries plants.

Jane’s Defence Weekly, 11 December 1993, p.18.

12 November 1993

A spokesman for the JDA’s intelligence department states, “We cannot accurately say when and where the missiles [Nodong-1] would be deployed, but is true that they [North Korea] are very close to completing development of this missile.” He also states that the DPRK has not developed an advanced solid-fuel missile. He is unable to confirm whether North Korea has begun development of the longer-range Nodong-2 missile.

Reuters, 12 November 1993.

12 November 1993

South Korea’s KBS-1 Radio cites the Russian newspaper Izvestiya as having reported that North Korea has provided Iran with the technology to manufacture Nodong-1 missiles in exchange for Western technology and equipment.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 12 November 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-037, 8 December 1993, p.92.

13 November 1993

Iran denies claims, made in the Times (London) on 12 Novmeber 1993, that it is financing the production of a Scud variant by North Korea. Iran also denies allegations that it is jointly producing an advanced cruise missile with Syria.

IRNA (Tehran), 13 November 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-037, 8 December 1993, p.36.

15 November 1993

Russia’s First Deputy Security Minister Sergey Stepashin announces the uncovering of a large-scale North Korean Special Services operation intended to recruit a large number of Russian missile and space specialists for work in North Korea. The organizer of the operation, Major General Nam Gae-wok, a counselor at the North Korean in Moscow, was expelled from Russia. Alexei Kandaudov, a Russian Security Ministry official, cites this as “the first case when a foreign diplomat has been asked to leave the country for an attempted recruitment of Russian scientists.”

Moscow Radio Rossii Network, 15 November 1993; in FBIS-SOV-93-219, 16 November 1993, p.5.  Washington Times, 17 November 1993, p.A15. Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, 12 December 1993, pp.1, 20.

December 1993

As part of the sixth high-level delegation to North Korea in 15 months, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Fourouzndeh visits North Korea to discuss technological cooperation.

Washington Times, 25 February 1994.

December 1993

Middle Eastern intelligence sources claim that Iran is expected to take delivery of the North Korean Nodong IRBMs “within months.” A full test of the missile is expected to take place under North Korean supervision in the southern Iranian desert by early 1994.

Flight International, 8 December 1993, p.14.

December 1993

North Korea’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ho Jong, says that North Korea never had any intention of selling missiles to Iran, stating, “There is no sale. It is entirely false.”

AP, in Christian Science Monitor, 27 December 1993, p.4.

1 December 1993

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official states that Japan has made repeated overtures to Iran not to assist North Korea in the testing of the Nodong missile. He suggests that economic aid to Iran could be suspended if such a test occurs.

Reuters, 2 December 1993.

2 December 1993

A high-ranking South Korean intelligence official confirms that the North Korea conducted its first successful test-launch of the Nodong-1 missile from a mobile launcher in late May 1993 [29 May 1993], striking a target 500km distant.

Chosun Ilbo (Seoul), 3 December 1993, p.1; in FBIS-EAS-93-231, 3 December 1993, pp.30-31.

2 December 1993

IRNA, citing an “informed political source,” states, “The Iranian source reiterated that Tehran and Pyongyang have signed no contract either on testing or purchase of long-range missiles.”

Reuters, 2 December 1993.

15 December 1993

The director of the Modern Korea Institute, Katsumi Sato, states that Chongnyun, the 150,000 member pro-North Korea general association of Korean residents in Japan, has exported “key high-tech components North Korea needs for its war machine,” and adds that Institute analysis shows that North Korea is “now trying to down-size a missile warhead, so that the Nodong-1 missile could deliver a nuclear bomb to Japan.” Tsutomu Nishioka, editor of the Institute’s monthly news magazine, notes that ¥16 billion are sent to the DPRK annually in remittances, dwarfing the North Korean budget of 35 billion won, and that “although a ban on cash gifts to North Korean relatives may raise humanitarian problems, to prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear missile should take precedence, as a nuclear attack would snuff out so many people.”

Kyodo (Tokyo), 15 December 1993; in JPRS-TND-94-002, 18 January 1994, p.5.

20 December 1993

A statement by Israeli Air Force Intelligence Chief Colonel “A” is published which says, “Iran will have [North] Korean Nodong missiles in a year which could be deployed in the west of the country and reach Israel.” Colonel “A” further states, “There is no doubt that Iran is trying to obtain the capacity to produce chemical and nuclear warheads,” which could be delivered by the Nodong.

AFP (Paris), 20 December 1993; in JPRS-TND-94-002, 18 January 1994, p.14.

24 December 1993

A senior JDA spokesman is quoted as saying that “when North Korea succeeded in test-firing the Nodong-1 in late March it was launched from a fixed platform, so we thought that changing the location was very difficult, but later the United States and Japan learned that a mobile launch was possible by analyzing intelligence.” He adds that the mobility of the Nodong-1, and the fact that North Korea has relocated most of its military facilities underground, make detection and destruction of the missiles extremely difficult. The official also states that the Nodong-1 is too large to be launched from a ship. According to international military sources, “North Korea will put the Nodong-1 missile into operational deployment next year [1995].”

Yonhap (Seoul), 24 December 1993; in JPRS-TND-94-002, 18 January 1994, p.5.

25 December 1993

Officials in Washington say that North Korea has delayed plans to sell Iran the Nodong-1 missile. The reason for the delay is unclear, but officials have a number of theories, among them diplomatic maneuvering linked to nuclear inspections, production problems, or final arrangement problems with Iran.

Christian Science Monitor, 27 December 1993, p.4.  Asian Recorder, 15 January 1994, p.23686.

26 December 1993

Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto denies international media reports that she will be discussing missile procurement or development during her two-day visit to North Korea, which is to begin on 29 December 1993. The DPRK visit, which immediately follows a meeting in Beijing is at the invitation of the North Korean President Kim Il-sung.

Radio Pakistan Network, 26 December 1993; in FBIS-NES-93-246, 27 December 1993, p.57. Radio Pakistan Network, 27 December 1993; in FBIS-NES-93-246, 27 December 1993, p.57.

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