South Korea Says North Korea Dumped $1.3B USD Into Missile Launch
December 12, 2012 4:30 PM
(Source: [North Korean Propaganda Poster])
That would be enough to buy 4.6 million tons of corn
North Korea's missile launch
succeeded in putting a satellite in orbit
(perhaps thanks to some Iranian expertise) this morning. But at what cost did the successful launch come?
I. Money Could Have Ended Famine, Claims South Korea
South Korean officials in the Ministry of Unification, the launch and a failed attempt in April directly cost $600M USD (mostly for the rocket and engineering expertise), the launch site costs $400M USD, and additional $300M USD was spent on related facilities. That adds up to a total of a cool $1.3B USD -- a massive sum for the poverty stricken nation.
To put this in context, South Korea says that would have bought 4.6 million tons of corn for the nation, where a third of citizens are estimated to be malnourished. That would be enough corn, it says, to feed the people in the north for four to five years.
North Korea is home to an estimated 24 million people,
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA). Average household income in North Korea is less than $1,900 USD a year, among the lowest incomes in the world.
One third of North Koreans are estimated to be malnourished. [Image Source: NK Now]
There is some debate about the true cost due to potential deals between Iran and North Korea, in which North Korea agreed to act as the Middle Eastern nation's weapons test bed (and thus may have received better rates on parts and engineering expertise).
Further questions on the price figure come in due to the fact that North Korean engineers are known to make much less than their foreign peers, but the exact rate is a topic of current reserach and debate. North Korea is very hostile, isolated, and secretive to its neighbors (other than China) and the U.S., so it is difficult for foreign observers to get accurate numbers to describe its economy.
II. North Korea -- Proud or Used?
Despite its anti-U.S. propoganda North Korea has expressed of late a desire to be recognized by the U.S. and given aid. A food deal was in the works, but fell through when North Korea broke promises and launched its failed missile test in April.
The big winner in the missile test may be Iran who is unlikely to face sanctions for its supposed involvement, and appears to have offloaded some of the costs of its weaponization efforts on a far poorer ally. Average income in Iran,
the CIA, is $13,200, meaning a single Iranian on average earns as much as nearly seven North Koreans (the average income in the U.S. $48,300 USD, roughly 3.7 times Iran's per capita income, and 25.4 times as much as North Korea's per capita income).
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard test launch of missiles is shown here dating back to 2006. The launch was carried out in the city of Qom, a holy city in the Islamist movement.
[Image Source: AFP]
allegedly approached Russia in 2009
with a satellite launch request, but was rebuffed. Since it has focused on its own internal rocket efforts for commercial and military purposes. The White House and CIA have expressed in recent years the belief that Iran is eager to
develop intercontinental ballistic missiles
, which could be used to threaten the mainland U.S. and its Middle Eastern ally Israel.
Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh in recent statements denied it was targeting the U.S., but confirmed it was refining designs to fire at Israel, stating, "Israel is our longest-range target."
North Korea contends that regardless of the cost, it is worth it to develop both peaceful space projects and nuclear weapons, which it
says it needs to "defend itself"
against the U.S.
According to a recent public radio report North Korea's rhetoric has shifted since Kim Jung-un assumed power, taking the fresh stance that failure is (sometimes) acceptable, because as some observers put it, the leader says great nations often fail. For instance, North Korea in the past only broadcast Olympic events where its team or athletes won the particular match. This time around, they broadcast the whole event and welcomed home the athletes -- even the losers -- as national heroes (traditionally losers were sent to work camps).
Indeed many expected this unfamiliar new breed of mea culpas from the Asian regime to arrive this week when the rocket launched, given the delays due to technical difficulties. But instead North Korea surprised observers and succeeded, shifting the question to a new one -- whether the cost of success was worth it.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
North Korea Successfully Tests Intercontinental Missile, Iranian Influence Suspected
December 12, 2012, 12:22 PM
North Korea Says Countries Need Nukes to Defend Against U.S. Attacks
July 15, 2012, 11:10 PM
Russians Reject Iranian Satellite Launch Request
July 1, 2009, 1:29 PM
Israel Says It's Ready to Intercept Iranian Nukes
April 9, 2009, 8:58 AM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
What Can You Do with Your New Echo Dot?
December 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest News, this is how the Moto X (2017) might look
December 3, 2016, 9:02 AM
Foscam R2 Home Security Camera System – High Quality High FHD Security Video Footage with No Monthly Fees
December 1, 2016, 2:00 AM
Sound Blaster Z SBX PCIE Gaming Sound Card - Superb High Performance Sound Card
December 6, 2016, 1:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 9, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Tech News
Dec 8, 2016, 5:11 AM
In The News
Dec 7, 2016, 5:00 AM
e Guide: Mobile Security for 2017
Dec 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Apple Car is Not Dead
Dec 5, 2016, 1:00 AM
Dec 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information