Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Mike Elleman is interviewed by VOA and states that the NYT selectively cited his report. He left himself wide open to this by not spending the time crunching the numbers and looking at the history of the missile and launcher programs derived from the original R-36 SCARP which would have told him that all extant stock of RD-250 family engines is held in Russia, not Ukraine. Why the NYT opted to treat this speculation as fact and focus on Ukraine as the source of the illicit transfer, rather than Russia, remains unknown.
To date, no visible response from the NYT, either retracting their now proven to be false claims or accepting Pres Poroshenko’s invitation to visit Ukraine and learn some facts. What compelled the NYT to pursue this foolish and demonstrably dishonest effort has yet to be explained. In doing what they did they played into the Russian agenda of shifting blame for the transfer from Russia to Ukraine. For a paper that has been vehemently opposed to Putin’s revanchism, this is a lapse of monumental proportions.
- Alya Shandra diligently surveys Ukrainian and some Western media critiques of the NYT and IISS reports, which amounts to a tirade of often highly informed criticism.
- Igor Solovey looks at Ukraine’s response to this Russian “active measure”, and forensically pulls apart the Russian play and its agendas.
- Alex Shulga’s lengthy essay is another survey and tirade against the NYT, IISS, and Russia.
The consensus, independently, of all of these Ukrainian critics, is that the only place the DPRK could have sourced the RD-250 family engines, associated hardware, and design data required for integration, was Russia. This conclusion is hard to dispute given that Ukraine dismantled its capability to design, develop and build ICBMs during the Budapest Memorandum denuclearization process.
US mainstream media continue to propagate the NYT “fake news” claims, whether out of spite toward Ukraine for embarrassing the NYT or simply by being too lazy to Google the topic is unknown.
We have yet to see the US mainstream media address the question of when, how and why the Russians supplied ICBM technology to the DPRK, and how the DPRK sourced the N2O4and UDMH propellants.
One of the experts of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Michael Elleman told about the mistake of the publication The New York Times, which p…
On 14 August 2017, the New York Times published an article by Pulitzer winning journalists William Broad and David E. Sanger stating that North Korea’s recent ballistic missile success is explained by black market purchases of rocket engines “probably from a Ukrainian factory,” namely – the Yuzhnoye construction bureau in its Russian transcription, or Yuzhmash, now known as Pivdenne, located in Dnipro. North Korea’s 4 July 2017 launch of the HWASONG-14 rocket with a range over 5,500 km had beemphawildered specialists. While the rogue country was in the possession of a nuclear bomb starting from 2006, the short- and medium-range rockets it managed to develop were able to carry it to South Korea, Japan, and US bases in Guam. Its attempts to create an intercontinental ballistic rocket capable of striking the USA were all unsuccessful. That is, until 2017. The New York Times article was based on a report written by Michael Elleman, a Senior Fellow for Missile Defence at the British-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, and who led a Threat Reduction program in Russia from 1995-2001, and immediately made headlines around the world. After all, a US strategic ally had allegedly helped the US’ mortal enemy. Predictably, Yuzhmash and Security Council Chief Oleksandr Turchynov denied Ukraine was involved. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Poroshenko has ordered a probe into the allegations of the report. But despite its popularity and well-known authors, the article appears to be, in the best case, extremely sloppy journalism, and in the worst – a hit piece with possibly grave consequences, according to Ukrainian officials and experts. Here is why.
Information lessons of “rocket crisis”. The information attack against Ukraine concerning the alleged supply of Ukrainian engines for North Korea’s rocket program has its benefits too, if I may put it like this. I mean the conclusions which can be taken out of the situation. As soon as a day after The New York Times published an article alleging that North Korea got parts for its intercontinental ballistic missiles from Ukraine, which their president uses to scare the USA with on a regular basis, it became clear that the publication is manipulative and misleading. Experts, mass media, and public offices in Ukraine put it under a microscope and explained in detail why what the authoritative newspaper said was stovepiping. They are unanimous in suggesting that the article had to do with the Kremlin which is thus trying to ruin US trust in Ukraine. At least, to derail (at most, to fully block) the pending transfer of US weapons to Kyiv. One cannot rule out that the “Ukrainian engines” story was timed specifically to precede a meeting between US representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. They are expected to discuss the latest sanctions against Russia. Besides, Moscow is using the new scandal to divert the recent suspicions about Russia’s role in North Korea’s rocket program. The tactic is not new, it used a variety of fake stories in the past, which always popped up when the Kremlin was caught red-handed and Moscow was not just trying to dodge responsibility but shift the blame on someone else. The best example is the downing of the Malaysia Airline passenger flight MH17.
Russia, against which the United States has recently imposed the new sanctions, decided to undermine the level of trust between official Washington and Kiev in order to prevent the supply of American defensive lethal weapons to Ukraine and to divert the attention of the world community from its aggressive actions. So Moscow tried to reiterate the well-known scenario: to accuse Ukraine of illegal arms shipments, as it was during the Kolchuga scandal” in the early 2000s. The Kremlin even found the second Major Melnichenko, the American expert Michael Elleman, to complete this special operation. One gets the impression that it was simply boring for Russians to stay in a camp of rogue states with North Korea and Iran, which is why they decided to drag Ukrainians into this “elite club”. Although, this time the Kremlin failed to conduct a successful special operation to discredit Ukraine, as it was during the time of Kuchma’s presidency. The story of the engines that were intended for North Korea’s missiles ended without even starting. The Ukrainian authorities reacted this time precisely and fulminantly, they could neutralize the threat in time. It’s obvious the attack, which organized by the Kremlin officials, was doomed to failure: key players refused to follow the instructions; they got out of control of Moscow’s honchos. Withal, the data obtained show Russia provided engines to the DPRK, which is using for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles that threaten the US national security. Thus once again the United States has supported Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression – finally, it was convinced that Russia is definitely a real threat to the world order. Unsuccessful performance Before the 24 hours past, the chief instigator of information disorder, an expert at the American International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) Michael Elleman, said he didn’t believe the Ukrainian company “Yuzhmash” sold the Soviet-designed RD-250 missile engines to North Korea. “Let me be clear about DPRK’s source of ICBM engine: Yuzhnoye is one of the several possible sources, there are other potentials in Russia. I don’t believe Ukraine government condoned or knew if the engines were sourced in Ukraine. To the contrary, Ukraine arrested North Koreans in 2012!”, tweeted Michael Elleman. Elleman’s official position changed as soon as he became aware of his long-standing contacts with representatives of Russia. According to his bio, from 1995 to 2001, he led a Cooperative Threat Reduction program in Russia, aimed a dismantling obsolete long-range missiles.
Ukraine’s main rocket engine builder, the Yuzhnoye construction bureau, has responded with a refutation to the New York Times article accusing Ukraine of leaking ballistic rocket technology to North Korea. In it, they stress that no journalists had contacted them prior to the publication and that the materials are false, uninformed, and appear to be crafted to support a geopolitical agenda. What follows is the statement of Yuzhnoye. It confirms many of the conclusions of our article: “Unprofessional slander.” Ukrainian rocket experts slam NYT accusations of North Korean leak The IISS and New York Times opinions published on North Korea’s ICBM successes are fictional, false, and inaccurate with regard to Ukrainian involvement. For organizations such as IISS and the NYT to publish such highly speculative material with unsupported claims and assumptions is unprofessional and inflammatory, with a seemingly political agenda. An uninterested observer would be highly likely to conclude who would benefit from this. This material is riddled with technical inaccuracies, amateur level assessments of technology, and a clear lack of understanding of rocket and missile technology.
Ukraine is virtually an “anything goes” zone for American entrepreneurs – as well as for people like the North Koreans.
The country has become something of a Wild West black-market weapons trading post.
Ukraine is virtually an “anything goes” zone for American entrepreneurs — as well as for people like the North Koreans. That idea has been reinforced by news reports that a Ukrainian factory sold North Korea rocket engines for intercontinental ballistic missiles, which Pyongyang wants to arm with nuclear warheads so it can threaten the United States as well as peace in its region.