Russia Accused of Assisting North Korea in Building Ballistic Missile

The intelligence service of South Korea claims that the ballistic missile launched by North Korea on Sunday night was built with technology and resources obtained from Russia, as reported by Yonhap, citing an MP who attended the closed-door briefing of the South Korean security forces. Earlier, the media reported that at least one structural element of the launched missile was found in the sea near a South Korean island; it is believed to be the first stage of the rocket as reported by Glavnoe, citing

Lawmaker Lee Cheol-woo, in an interview with a South Korean news agency, said that the satellite launched by North Korea had almost no equipment on board, according to the assessment made by the special services of the country. The satellite weighed about 200 kg, while "serious satellites" usually weigh at least 800 kg. South Korean MPs were consequently told that the launch should be treated as a ballistic missile test, as the satellite it put into orbit would be useless.

Lee also said that the key components of the rocket were created by Russia.

The launch was executed exactly one month after a powerful underground explosion, which according to North Korea was a hydrogen bomb test. Lee believes that North Korea will be ready for another nuclear test "at any time."

Earlier, the Japanese government provided details about several elements of the missile that it was able to track down after the launch. The pieces fell into the sea at locations that do not coincide with those mentioned in the notice sent by North Korea to the International Telecommunication Union and the International Maritime Organization, TASS reports.  At some point four parts had separated from the rocket and fell into the Yellow Sea at three different locations; 150 kilometers south of the Korean Peninsula, 250 kilometers south-west of the East China Sea and in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 thousand kilometers to the south of Japan.

North Korean Central Television officially announced the successful launch of the rocket with the satellite Kvangmoongsong-4 that will observe the Earth from space. This test violates a UN Security Council resolution and provoked a sharp reaction from the international community, including Russia and China. Soon after the event, the success of the launch was confirmed by South Korea and the United States, and some time later a video was broadcast on North Korean television.