There was a mild commotion on Sunday when North Korea rolled out a new rocket in its big celebration parade in Pyongyang.I wrote about it briefly, but following the much-hyped yet short-lived rocket launch just days before — nobody really cared — and some speculated it could even be fake.
If it is fake, the regime went to a lot of trouble to sell the ruse to the world.
Ted Parsons at Janes defence Weekly reports the 16-wheeled vehicle that carried the rocket looks like it was provided by China and is a design never seen before in North Korea.
Shaun Waterman at The Washington Times talked to Parsons:
The Chinese and North Korean versions of the TEL “have the same windscreen design, the same four windscreen wiper configuration, the same door and handle design, a very similar grill area, almost the same front bumper lighting configuration, and the same design for the cabin steps,” Mr. Parsons noted.
If correct, and the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) is based on a Chinese design, it means China broke UN sanctions against North Korea and seriously undermined its position on North Korea’s ballistic missile program. China is part of the six-party talks aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear program.
If China has been secretly aiding the North Korean ballistic missile program, that “could fatally undermine the six-party talks [because they are] built on the premise that there is a unanimous desire to prevent the North from developing a nuclear capability,” Mr. Hardy said.
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