November 4, 2022
SEOUL – It has been estimated that the string of missile launches carried out on Wednesday could have cost North Korea as much as $75 million.
According to Radio Free Asia, Bruce Bennett of RAND Corporation estimated that each launch would have cost Pyongyang between $2 million and $3 million. With South Korea having detected 25 missiles throughout the day, the cost of Pyongyang’s barrage would range from $50 million to $75 million.
The estimated cost of launching a missile, including North Korea’s labor costs, varies greatly depending on the type of the projectile, with mid-range missiles costing up to $15 million to launch.
In September, the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses estimated that the 33 missiles launched the North conducted between January and June would have cost the regime up to $650 million.
For the impoverished North Korea, the estimated costs of launching the missiles are comparable to monthly trade figures.
North Korea’s imports from China is estimated to have come to $71.5 million in August, and just over $90 million in September.
North Korea’s annual rice imports from China before the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated at about $70 million.
North Korea, meanwhile, is thought to be experiencing significant food shortages.
The US Department of Agriculture projected that North Korea’s rice production would come to 1.36 million tons for the 2023 crop year, down 10 percent compared to the 2017 to 2021 average.