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These are the missiles North Korea is selling to Russia

Jan 17


The Russia-Ukraine war has gobbled up artillery shells and heavy munitions at an unprecedented rate, forcing Russia and the West to devise new methods for fast, scalable production and acquisition. Russia appears to be in the process of purchasing North Korean missiles as a part of that effort.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan looks at the exact models and capabilities of the missiles the Russians will be purchasing from North Korea. While he concedes that these missiles are not exactly cutting edge, Zeihan cautions that they are nonetheless intended to be used against heavily populated civilian centers, calling them “a war crime waiting to happen.”

Below is an excerpt from Peter’s Jan. 17 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

We’re back with part two of Russia’s missile-sourcing escapade. Today we’re looking at the specifics of these North Korean missiles and their significance.

The North Korean’s are sending the Russians some of their KN-23 and 25 missiles, which are limited-range (max. 400 miles) and low-accuracy models. This means that each of these missiles is a war crime waiting to happen, but what’s another drop in that bucket? Unfortunately, this has just dumped a new load of gasoline onto the fire that is the Ukraine War.

The Russians will be able to use these missiles in conjunction with satellite guidance to close in that accuracy ring a bit. In the meantime, they’ll be gathering insights on the technological capabilities of the North Korean and Iranian missile systems.

Once the Russians mesh the missile and satellite tech together, the Ukrainians will be facing a much more intimidating Russia than before.

Everybody, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from? Well, there’s no other word for it. It’s a frigid Colorado this morning. We’re right at two degrees Fahrenheit. Anyway, I want to do a follow-on to a little bit we talked [sic] yesterday on the transfer of North Korean missiles to Russia. The models in question are called KN-23 and -25, they have a very limited range, and they’re not particularly accurate when the North Koreans use them, the accuracy range is typically 100 to 200 meters. So they’re not much, well, they’re just not smart, most artillery actually hits more reliably than they do. With the add on of satellites, guidance, and a little bit of extra hardware, you could probably get them into the 50- to 100-meter range. Now, this is important for two reasons. Number one, it means that every missile that the Russians fire in the general direction of a population center, which is where most of these things are being used in Ukraine, is almost by definition, a war crime. So you know, we’re, we’re now getting past 150,000 documented incidents. So if the war crimes tribunals ever do happen to happen at the end of this war, there’s gonna be a lot to do. But the second and slightly more important in the long range point of view, is the assistance, the military assistance, the supply assistance that the North Koreans and to a lesser degree, the Iranians are providing the Russians, is it just important for the war or to get an intelligence look at what the North Korean and the Iranian systems can do technologically and from a production point of view, the Russians are also promising both countries, satellite tech, or at least the ability of the Russians to launch a satellite for them. And so if you marry Russian satellite tech, which doesn’t have to be top notch to provide guidance to say, weapons systems, and you apply it to these two laggard countries, you can actually make a fairly significant improvement in their capacity to target, going from a 200-meter range to a 100-meter range, obviously, is a significant step up. So I don’t mean to belittle any part of this transfer system that is going on. It’s just a question of time. Okay, that’s all I got for now. Bye.

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