Western intelligence analysts said the North Korean missile launches on July 4 and 5 did not seem connected to Pyongyang's ballistic missile program. They pointed to the aborted flight of the Taepodong-2, meant to have a range of up to 5,000 kilometers.
Instead, the North Korean launch of seven missiles was designed to demonstrate a command and control system. The analysts pointed to the presence of at least 11 senior Iranian engineers at the Taepodong launch pad.
"The development of Taepodong-2 is conducted jointly with Iran, and it is possible China's technology is used in the development of the Taepodong-2 engine," South Korea's Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security said in a report.
The state-operated institute said Pyongyang has also been working with China and Pakistan to develop the Taepodong-2. The report said the development of the North Korean missile runs parallel to Iran's development of the long-range Shihab-5 and -6.