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Ukrainian PM Says Transfers of Missile Technology to North Korea 'Impossible'

© REUTERS / Valentyn OgirenkoUkrainian Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Groysman attends a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, March 15, 2016
Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Groysman attends a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, March 15, 2016 - Sputnik International
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman denied on Tuesday reports suggesting a possible transfer of Ukraine's military technologies for ballistic missiles to North Korea.

KIEV (Sputnik) — The New York Times newspaper reported on Monday that Pyongyang could be using for a modified RD-250 high-performance liquid-propellant engine (LPE) its latest missiles, the kind that used to be developed at Ukraine's state-owned Yuzhmash and Russia’s Energomash company.

The article, citing classified assessments by US intelligence agencies and a study by Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defense with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank, read that the engines for North Korean missiles likely came from Ukraine, "probably illicitly."

"Regarding a scandal with Yuzhmash, this is a clear provocation against Ukraine. This is nonsense and something like this is impossible. I rely on the statements by Yuzhmash and the National Security and Defense Council," Groysman said on Twitter.

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense - Sputnik International
Pentagon Declines to Comment on Reports of Ukraine Selling Arms to N Korea
Yuzhmash on Monday denied any involvement in North Korea's space or defense-related missile programs. The plant also pointed out that it had produced neither missiles nor missile systems since Ukraine became an independent state after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, whereas its only exported serially-produced engine was designed for use in space and was not suitable for ballistic missiles.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov also said on Monday that Ukraine defense and aerospace companies did not supply any weapons or military technologies to North Korea.

The IISS on its part said its report did not suggest that the government in Kiev or Yuzhmash leadership executives were involved in this affair. Alexander Degtyarev, the general designer at Ukraine's Yuzhnoye State Design Office, said that some country might have been able to copy the designs of missile engines developed in Ukraine.

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