URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/north-korea-caught-trying-aid-syrias-chemical-weapons-program/
North Korea has been caught twice in recent months trying to send Syria the materials needed to make chemical weapons, according to a United Nations report.
“The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea),” the United Nations committee reported.
“Two member states interdicted shipments destined for Syria. Another member state informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria,” the report stated, using the acronym for the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, which has been blacklisted by the Security Council for arms dealing.
The report did not say when the weapons were intercepted. The intercepted shipments were bound for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which has overseen Syria’s chemical weapons program.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former head of the British military’s chemical, biological and radiological weapons program, said North Korea has been selling its chemical stockpile.
“Syria’s chemical weapons program was basically built up by Iran and Russia,” he said. “But the North Koreans have been desperate for currency and have been happy to sell technology to anyone. It has always been a real concern that they would sell their chemical and nuclear expertise.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t speak to a wider involvement in the (chemical weapons) sphere, especially by the jihadis,” he said.
An organization called the Nuclear Threat Initiative said North Korea “may possess between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of (chemical warfare) agents.
“The South Korean government assesses that North Korea is able to produce most types of chemical weapons indigenously, although it must import some precursors to produce nerve agents, which it has done in the past,” the site said.
“At maximum capacity, North Korea is estimated to be capable of producing up to 12,000 tons of CW. Nerve agents such as Sarin and VX are thought to be the focus of North Korean production,” it said.
In April, Syria used chemical weapons to attack a rebel-held village, prompting an armed response form the United States.