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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

North Korea Still Selling Missiles, Report Finds

North Korea is believed to have delivered roughly 40 ballistic missiles to other nations over a four-year period that ended in 2005, the New York Times reported yesterday (see GSN, June 23, 2004).

The U.S. Congressional Research Service included the figure in a report released Friday on the international weapons market. The report does not identify the missile-dealing nation by name, but Bush administration officials confirmed that it is North Korea.

International agreements outlaw the transfer of ballistic missiles to other nations. North Korea is the only country to conduct such sales from 2001 to 2005, according to the report (Thom Shanker, New York Times, Oct. 29).

The number of sales for that period is the same as that reported for 2001 to 2004, indicating that there were no North Korean missile transfers last year, the Yonhap News Agency reported today. A report covering the years 2000 to 2003 documented 20 deliveries of surface-to-surface missiles to the Near East, suggesting continued sales from 2003 to 2004 (see GSN, Dec. 16, 2002; Yonhap News Agency, Oct. 30).

Russia was the leading weapons dealer last year to the developing world, with $7 billion in sales, the Times reported. That included $700 million worth of surface-to-air missiles sold to Iran, which could increase the danger to U.S. military pilots if air strikes are ordered on Tehran’s nuclear complex, which Washington believes is developing atomic weapons (Shanker, New York Times).
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