Ex-Israeli Envoy Details Talks with North Korea

[Yomiuri Shimbun-Japan] Mina Mitsui - Former Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General Eytan Bentsur told the Yomiuri Shimbun in an interview that secret negotiations took place with North Korea in the early 1990s in an effort to stop Pyongyang's export of ballistic missiles and related technologies to Egypt, Syria, Libya and Iraq. Contact was initiated by North Korea in the summer of 1992. Pyongyang wanted investment in its gold-mining project in Unsan, in the northwest of the country. As talks started, Israel confronted North Korea with its evidence that Pyongyang had exported missiles to Middle Eastern countries and protested against such actions, but North Korea flatly denied the allegations. Shabtai Shavit, former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, told the Yomiuri that he advised then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that further negotiations would be playing into Pyongyang's hands. In August 1993, Rabin accepted this advice and stopped the negotiations.

2007-12-07 01:00:00

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