North Korea in the Middle East: A Dangerous Military Supply Line

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Anthony Ruggiero, Kongdan Oh, and Jay Solomon - Ruggiero: Iran's missile relationship with North Korea is robust. The relationship will become even more attractive to Iran if the Kim regime manages to produce a functional ICBM. North Korea could give Iran nuclear blueprints, testing data, lessons learned, and centrifuges. As it negotiates with the Trump administration, North Korea needs to come clean on all of its proliferation efforts. North Korea has pledged to stop proliferating military technology in the past but continues to do it. Oh: In 1997, a North Korean delegation met with the Israeli ambassador in Stockholm, explained that their country had successfully tested a satellite missile, and warned that Iran and other Middle Eastern states were interested in buying it. They asked Israel for $1 billion in exchange for withholding the missile technology from its enemies. The Israelis declined to give cash, but they did offer humanitarian aid, agricultural technology, medicine, and other assistance worth even more than a billion. Pyongyang refused the deal. Solomon: Today, almost every state in the Middle East has some link to North Korean military systems. In Yemen, the government acquired North Korean missile technology before the current war. As a result, the missiles that rebel Houthi forces are launching into Saudi Arabia may have input from North Korean sources - or Iranian sources - or both. Ruggiero is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a veteran of Treasury and State Department programs tasked with countering North Korea. Oh is a resident staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Solomon is former chief foreign affairs correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

2018-06-13 00:00:00

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