North Korean officials are currently trying their hardest to become pros when it comes to the nuclear game, and all their testing and failure isn’t really doing anything other than pissing people off and costing their country big bucks.
When North Korea decided to go nuclear, they committed to a huge investment in a program that would bring severe sanctions and eat up precious resources that could have been gone toward boosting the nation’s quality of life.
North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs have definitely come at a high cost. They have failed at several attempts to launch a missile, but they are getting closer to succeeding. They managed to prove they’re capable of attacking targets in the United States when they successfully test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile this past July 4th, and they haven’t spent nearly as much on their efforts as countries like the U.S. do.
It’s hard to really believe any news or statistics you hear or get from North Korea. But Fox News recently used their expertise and knowledge to figure out how much such a program is costing the troubled country, and why Kim Jong Un may think it’s the hefty price he needs to pay to survive.
South Korea has estimated the cost of the North’s nuclear program at $1 billion to $3 billion. If you aren’t really sure if that’s a lot of money for nukes or not, consider this: Just one nuclear-powered Virginia class attack submarine costs the United States Navy about $2.5 billion. The USS Gerald Ford, America’s newest aircraft carrier, has an $8 billion price tag, not counting development costs.
South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense estimated the cost of the first 31 ballistic missiles Kim test-launched from when he took power in late 2011 until July last year at $97 million. That puts the price of each Scud at $1 million to $2 million, each Musudan at $3 million to $6 million and each submarine-launched ballistic missile at $5 million to $10 million.
So far, this year, North Korea has conducted 11 tests and launched 17 missiles.
So, they may not dish out as much the U.S. or other well-developed countries, but where do they get all the money? The country brought in $2 billion in exports in 2015, and there’s talk that they’ve relied heavily on foreign currency sent by thousands of laborers dispatched abroad, and exports of illegal weapons and cybercrime.
You know, the good stuff.