North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

September 22, 2016

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile


Michael Elleman


38 North

Related Country: 

  • North Korea

North Korea’s ground test of a powerful, liquid-fueled engine on September 20, and the launch of three modified-Scud missiles earlier this month renewed allegations that Pyongyang and Tehran are collaborating on ballistic-missile development. The accusations are mostly speculative, based largely on the apparent similarities of ballistic missiles and satellite launchers appearing in both Iran and North Korea. A detailed examination of the designs employed by the two countries casts doubt on claims that the two countries are co-developing missiles and satellite launchers, exchanging detailed design data, and testing prototypes for each other. Pyongyang and Tehran may share test data on a limited basis, and perhaps trade conceptual ideas. But there is little evidence to indicate the two regimes are engaged in deep missile-related collaboration, or pursuing joint-development programs.


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