On the demand for DPRK-made missiles

UPDATE 3 (2011-9-27): The Center for Nonproliferation Studies hosted a panel discussion on Mr. Pollack’s report.  You can see all the presentations here.

UPDATE 2: The Washington Post has recently covered this study.

UPDATE 1: 38 North has published an article by Mr. Pollack which provides an interesting narrative of the market for North Korean missiles.

ORIGINAL POST: The Choson Ilbo published the following:

Forty percent of ballistic missiles developing nations have imported since 1987 came from North Korea, VOA reported Thursday.

The claim comes in a report titled “The Evolution of North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Market” by Joshua Pollack, a nuclear proliferation expert at the U.S. Science Applications International Corporation, who says, “More than 40 percent of the roughly 1,200 theater ballistic missile systems supplied to the developing world between 1987 and 2009 came from North Korea.”

During this period Iran, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, the U.A.E., and Pakistan imported missiles from the North. The North topped the list of ballistic missile suppliers, followed by Russia (400) and China (270).

But the North’s missile export began declining rapidly in 1994.

North Korea’s time as supplier of “complete missile systems” to the Middle East at large ended because the Middle East no longer had the need for rapid arms buildup and missile stockpiles after the end of the Iran-Iraq War, Pollack said.

The North proved “adaptable to shifting market and security environments” by “turning instead to the export of missile components and materials.” But missile importers had less demand for North Korean missiles as they built their own production capabilities, he added.

Pollack’s report was carried in the July issue of The Nonproliferation Review published by James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Mr. Pollack’s full report can be found here (PDF). It is well worth reading. Mr. Pollack is also a blogger at ArmsControlWonk.com.


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