An Expensive Way to Prove a Point

Lee Sang Yong  |  2012-12-13 16:07
The South Korean government claims to have calculated the amount of money used by North Korea on missile development and long-range rocket launches since the 1990s, concluding that a total of $1.74 billion has been eaten up getting the program to the current stage.

Based on the North Korean government’s own calculation of daily need, the money spent on yesterday’s launch could buy 5.8 million tons of corn, enough to feed a population of 20 million for 19 months

According to a government source, North Korea has spent $300 million on the development of the ‘Taepodong-2’ missile and ‘Unha-3’ carrier rocket, a further $150 million on three iterations of the “Gwangmyungsung” satellite, and $400 million on its new launch facility on the west coast of North Pyongan Province.

In addition, Pyongyang stands accused of having wasted $140 million on the development of the Taepodong-1 missile, along with $400 million on its assorted other long-range missiles. The Pyongyang-based weapons research facility from which yesterday’s rocket emerged is presumed to have cost around $150 million, while the smaller, older launch facility at Musudan-ri on the country’s east coast is thought to have cost around $200 million.
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