China supplied NK missile carriers last year
By Kim Young-jin
North Korea imported the sophisticated missile carrier it displayed during a recent military parade from China last year, a defense news service said.
The Canada-based Kanwa Information Center released a report saying the North imported eight units of the 16-wheel vehicle last May.
U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions ban the supplying of arms-related materials to North Korea. While Seoul and Washington have raised the issue, Beijing has so far denied the act.
The center said that the vehicle was made by an enterprise under the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It added that the engines were made in the United States and the transmissions in Germany.
Pyongyang used the vehicle to roll out a supposed long-range missile during a military parade to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of its founder Kim Il-sung on April 15.
Military experts quickly said it appeared to be of Chinese design.
The carrier is believed capable of launching missiles and facilitates transportation of such weapons, making them more difficult to locate and destroy.
The report came amid questions over whether China, the North’s main ally, will exert more pressure on Pyongyang to reign in its provocative behavior.
Two days before showing the carrier, it failed in its attempt to launch a satellite atop a long range rocket, a move seen as a ballistic missile test.
While China quickly backed a UNSC presidential statement condemning the move, questions remained over whether it will also fully back measures meant to punish the North for its provocations.
The statement includes a clause that expresses the council’s “determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test.”
Beijing has been criticized for mitigating the effect of U.N. sanctions by stepping up economic engagement and looking the other way over the North’s proliferation activities.
German Defense experts Markus Schiller and Robert H. Schmucker said the apparently new long-range missile unveiled at the parade were mock-ups, amounting to no more than a “nice dog-and-pony show.”