CSIS Briefing on NK Missiles

April 27, 2012
David Wright
Former contributor

Last Friday I gave a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in DC about the recent North Korean launch failure and its missile program. The audio of that talk is on the CSIS website, as are the slides that went with it.

One amusing thing that resulted from this talk was a set of press reports in Asian papers stating that I claimed the KN-08 missiles seen in the North Korean parade were fakes made of “layers of paper.” I do think the missiles seen were mockups and not real missiles, but I never said they were made of paper.

As far as I can tell this started with a Japanese-language article in Yomiuri that I’m told used the word “haribote,” which apparently literally translates to “made with think paper.” If that was intended to convey the sense that the mockups might represent a missile that currently exists only as a design on paper and not an actual missile, that’s in keeping with the spirit of what I said. Other newspapers in the region, however, seem to have picked this up from Yomiuri but interpreted it much more literally.