1997 Congressional Hearings
Special Weapons
Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and Missile


 

                  PREPARED STATEMENT OF KO YOUNG-HWAN
              Former Official, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

                  NORTH KOREAN MISSILE PROLIFERATION
                                HEARING
                               before the
                SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY,
                  PROLIFERATION, AND FEDERAL SERVICES
                                 of the
                              COMMITTEE ON
                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE
                            OCTOBER 21 1997


    I am Ko Young-hwan. I served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 
North Korea from 1978 to 1991. I defected from my post as the 1st 
Secretary of the DPRK Embassy in Congo in 1991. I would like to 
describe North Korean missiles.

Missile Production

    Recognizing the dire need for missile development, Kim Il-sung 
established the National Defense University (NDU) in Hamheung in 1965. 
After the Pueblo incident in January of 1968, it was moved to the city 
of Kangkye which defense facilities are concentrated in. The Kangkye 
NDU is run directly by the Ministry of People's Armed Forces.

    The elite in the military and the North Korean society are screened 
to enter the University where they study for seven years to graduate. 
The 1st Department was the Department of Missile Engines.

    My elder brother, the first son of our family, graduated from the 
Department. The text books he had studied ranged from designs of V-1 
and V-2 type missiles to those of the Soviet Union-made short-range 
surface-to-surface missiles, commonly referred to as Frog missiles.

    In 1965 Kim Il-sung said to Kim Chang-bong, National Defense 
Minister, ``it is imperative for us to develop rockets for war, which 
is why I built the NDU.'' He also said, ``if a war breaks out, the U.S. 
and Japan will also be involved. In order to prevent their involvement, 
we have to be able to produce rockets which fly as far as Japan. 
Therefore, it is the mandate for the NDU to nurture those personnel who 
are able to develop mid- and long-range missiles.''

    This remark was written on the first page of the text books my 
brother studied at the NDU. He graduated from the Kangkye NDU in 1972 
and was sent as a missile engine design expert to a design lab code 
named as ``January 18th Machinery Factory'' in Kagamri, Kaecheon-kun of 
the southern province of Pyongahn. The ``Jan. 18th Factory'' served as 
an underground munitions factory which produces engines for missiles, 
rocket ships, torpedoes and tanks. According to my brother, there were 
over 10,000 people working in the factory. Since the end of 1970's, 
``Jan. 18th Factory'' has begun reverse-engineering of Frog missiles.

    In 1981 my brother (Ko Bang-nam) was transferred to the design labs 
of the ``Surface to Sea Missile Factory'' in ``Pyonayang Mankyungdae 
Yakjun Machinery Factory'' located in Yongseong-Dong of the Yongseung 
District in Pyongyang.

    He often told me that he was involved in the production of missiles 
which can destroy the warships of the 7th Fleet of the U.S. naval 
forces which will appear in the East Sea if a war breaks out on the 
Korean Peninsula.

    According to him, the North conducted test firings of the missiles 
on the coastal areas of the Yellow Sea during the night time to avoid 
detection by the U.S. reconnaissance satellites.

    In 1988 he was transferred to the missile engine design lab of the 
National Defense Institute, also referred to as the 2nd Natural Science 
Institute at Yongseung District in Pyongyang, where he developed mostly 
surface-to-surface Scud missiles and enhanced their capabilities. He 
said that North Korean missiles had the capability to protect the 
entire territory of the South and the waters of the Korean Peninsula.

    According to him, there are other missile factories other than the 
``118 Machinery Factory'' and the ``Yakjun Machinery Factory in 
Mankyungdae'' such as the ``Pyongyang Pig Factory'' which is also 
referred to as the ``125 Factory'' in Joongyee-Dong, the Hyengjesan 
District of Pyongyang.

    He said that the North purchased the Soviet Union-made SS missiles, 
French Exocet air-to-ship missiles and Stinger missiles for reverse-
engineering production.

    There is the 2nd Economic Committee under the Party Central 
Military Commission. The Committee is responsible for the defense 
industry in the North. Secretary Chun Byung-ho of the Party Central 
Committee is in charge of the 2nd Economic Committee and Kim Chul-man, 
alternate member of the Party Political Bureau serves as the head of 
the Committee. Located in Kangdong-kun of Pyongyang, the 2nd Economic 
Committee is composed of eight General Bureaus, the National Defense 
Institute and material trading companies. The eight General Bureaus 
produce a variety of munitions. The 4th General Bureau is in charge of 
missile production.

    The Maebong General Bureau under the General Staff of the Ministry 
of People's Armed Forces is importing and exporting the parts of 
missiles.

The Deployment of Missiles

    According to Im Young-sun, a defector from North Korea and former 
leader of guard platoon in the Military Construction Bureau of the 
People's Armed Forces Ministry, North Korea has deployed missiles as 
follows: The Military Construction Bureau (MCB) completed the 
construction of a long-range missile base in Paekun-ri, Kusong County, 
North Pyong-an Province in 1986. The 117th Regiment under the MCB 
completed the construction of a missile base in Hwadae County, North 
Hamgyong Province in 1988.

    The Taepo-Dong missile base in Hwadae County is an underground 
facility with surface-to-surface missiles designed to hit the Japanese 
area. For security reasons, all inhabitants residing in the area within 
the radius of 80 Km of this base have been ordered to move out.

    The MCB started to build a missile base in Chungganjin, Huchang 
County, Jagang Province in 1990 and completed the construction in 1995. 
This base was targeted at U.S. troops in Okinawa.

    The 111th Regiment of the MCD started to construct an underground 
missile base in Ok-pyong Rodongja-ku, Munchon County, Kangwon Province 
in 1991. This base was scheduled to be completed within 6 or 7 years 
after the commencement of the work, and was targeted at Japanese 
islands and U.S. military bases in Japan.

    The 110th and 115th Regiments of the MCB completed the construction 
of a missile base on Mayang Island, Mayang-ri, Shinpo City, South 
Hamgyong Province in late 1980. The MCB also constructed a missile base 
designed to cover the West side of Japan.

    The MCB completed the construction of an intermediate-range missile 
base on Mt. Kanggamchan located on the opposite side of the Kane-po 
Fisheries Cooperatives in Jungsan County, South Pyongan Province around 
1985. The North Korean Navy also completed the construction of a 
surface-to-ship missile base in early 1990 on the same site.

    I believe that the MCB is currently constructing a long-range 
surface-to-surface missile base in Doksong County, South Hamgyong 
Province. North Korea has given various names to the Taepo-Dong 
missiles, such as Hwasong (Mars)-1, Hwasong-2, Moksong (Jupiter)-1, 
Moksong-2, and so on.

The Export of Missiles

    The organizations responsible for exporting missiles include the 
Yongaksan Trading Company, and the Changkwang Trading Company under the 
Second Economic Commission, the 15th Bureau (the General Bureau of 
Technology) in the Armed Forces Ministry, the Maebong General Bureau 
(the Maebong Trading Company) in the General Staff of the People's 
Army.

    The story I heard from Colonel Kim Young-hwan, one of my seniors at 
Pyongyang Foreign Language College who later served as a chief of a 
department in the Daesong General Bureau and then as the deputy chief 
of the Maebong General Bureau (official title abroad: vice director of 
the Maebong Trading Company), is as follows: North Korea has been 
exporting missiles mainly to Iran, Syria, Egypt and Libya. In August 
1988 when I was chatting with him at his home, he told me that Egypt 
was North Korea's main counterpart for developing missiles jointly, 
Iran was also a counterpart for developing missiles jointly though the 
country was buying North Korean missiles, and Syria was buying North 
Korean missiles.

    Colonel Kim Young-hwan said that ``the export of missiles occupies 
the largest portion of North Korea's total export volume, and that if 
North Korea is unable to export missiles to the Middle East countries 
then its import of crude oil must be stopped.'' He also said that North 
Korea was earning about $1 billion a year when the export was smooth.

    In February 1991, when I was serving as a member of the North 
Korean Embassy in Congo, the Foreign Ministry office in Pyongyang sent 
us a telegram message which instructed us to take out a roll of North 
Korean film and other propaganda materials from Daeheng-ho, a North 
Korean freighter which sailed out from the North Korean port of Haeju 
and was bound for Syria, because the freighter was scheduled to stop at 
the Congolese port of Pointenoire. The message also instructed us to 
help the freighter refill fuel at the port. But around that time the 
world media began to report that the North Korean freighter seemed to 
be carrying missiles, and then Pyongyang ordered the freighter to 
return home.

    Later, the Foreign Ministry sent us a message saying that the 
freighter returned home for an inevitable reason, and the materials 
would be delivered later.

    North Korean Ambassador to Congo Ryu Kwan-jin, who was a close 
friend of Chang Song-taik (Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law) told me that 
he once heard Chang saying that North Korea had been experiencing 
difficulties in exporting surface-to-surface missiles to such countries 
as Syria, Libya and Iran due to U.S. reconnaissance satellites, and 
therefore, North Korea was transporting major parts of missiles by the 
planes.

    North Korea has been exporting not only its own missiles but also 
Chinese-made missiles. Kim Yang-gon, who served as a counselor in 
charge of trade at the North Korean Embassy in Zaire in April 1990, 
told me that North Korea had been importing Chinese silkworm missiles 
via railroads and then exporting it to Iran and Syria through 
searoutes, thus earning enormous amount of commission. Kim Jong-il was 
known to be satisfied with the trade.

    Exporting missiles is crucial to the North Korea's economy. Kim 
Jong-il regime is likely to continue missile production in order to 
attack ROK, Japan, and the United States in war time, and to get oil 
from Mideast countries as well. Therefore I would like to say that we 
have to work together to support ROK to improve its missile ability 
against North Korea's threat to keep peace in the Korean peninsula.