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Why a weak Ukraine could be the cause of an atomic war?

North Korea is a dictatorial regime that has historically sustained its domestic power structure through militarization.. More than the use of armed forces to repress the population, this means that the North Korean state acts from military dimensions. Generally these states have a low level of economic development and, consequently, it also tends to have a low level of technological development.

Until here, other similar cases have already been seen in the world and North Korea would be just another. The big difference is that, contrary to what was expected, the country now has a ballistic and nuclear program far beyond its technological capabilities. Especially when considering the missiles that have been introduced recently by Kim Jong-Um's government.

Tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles show that the country could succeed, in theory, launch missiles that can hit distant places, like the United States. Like this, North Korean attack power gains a dimension capable of threatening the stability not only of the region, but also from other important poles of power.

The question that remains is: if the country has a level of technological development that would hardly be able to produce a missile of this magnitude, how then North Korea has these missiles?

One of the most likely explanations is in another region of the world that has undergone recent structural changes that have nothing to do with South Asia: the ukraine.

Going back in time a little, one of the most important ballistic and nuclear programs in the world was the Soviet. in that model, Ukraine played an important role in weapons development, with special emphasis on his participation in the Russian ballistic program.

Security and Defense Specialists, when analyzing the missile profile (Photos, launch and flight patterns), indicate that these follow the same patterns as the then Soviet missiles, today also ukrainians. apparently, the missiles (or parts of them) were originally built at the Yuzhmas factory, located in the city of Dnipro, which is in southwestern Ukraine.

Ukraine is going through a turbulent political-economic moment. It recently got involved in conflicts with neighboring Russia over the independence of a region with the consequent rapprochement/junction with Russia. This conflict is only part of a structural problem.. The country has difficulties to structure itself, which limits your economic possibilities.

It is possible that the Ukrainian government does not have a direct relationship with this transaction., even so, the condition in which the country finds itself makes room for military materials or even military technologies to be sold. In a world that presents increasing turbulence and insecurity, this type of trade gets even more heated and, therefore, dangerous.

Like this, the discussion about failed states (or unstructured) starts to gain new dimensions. More than looking into them, it is necessary to understand how they and their stories fit into the global reality.

If it is actually true, as some experts indicate, the idea that the North Korean ballistics program has links to Ukraine, a new light must be shed on what will happen to Ukraine. For example, US President Donald Trump recently announced that he will expand US-Ukraine collaborations. That would be good news., if the focus of this cooperation was not precisely in the military area.

According to the US Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, the idea is for the US to offer defense weapons to the ukrainian government. There is information indicating that, within this possibility, anti-tank guided missiles may be sent.

The immediate objective of this collaboration is related to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. However, the strategic consequences can be much broader.

In a world with increasing tensions and instability – especially considering a possible trade already established between Ukraine and North Korea – US support for Ukraine could end up being support for the strengthening of North Korea.

More than collaboration in the military area, It is important to understand beforehand what the real capacity the Ukrainian state will have to control and retain military apparatus and technologies. Otherwise, the attempt to brace itself for local tension could end up being the fuel for a much bigger war, somewhere else.

Rodrigo Cintra
Post-Doctorate in Territorial Competitiveness and Creative Industries, by Dinâmia - Center for the Study of Socioeconomic Change, of the Higher Institute of Labor and Enterprise Sciences (ISCTE, Lisboa, Portugal). PhD in International Relations from the University of Brasília (2007). He is Executive Director of Mapa Mundi. ORCID