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Saturday, October 04, 2008

North Korea aiding nuclear proliferation in the Middle East

Al-AP is reporting that Israel's delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency said today that North Korea is helping fuel nuclear development in as many as six countries in the Middle East in what is probably the largest nuclear black market in the world.
Israel's delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, David Danieli, accused North Korea of being a black market supplier of conventional arms or nuclear technology to Middle East nations covertly trying to break out of the nonproliferation fold.

While he did not name the "at least half dozen" countries suspected of accepting the North's help, he appeared to be referring in part to Iran and Syria, which are both under IAEA investigation.

World powers at a 145-nation Vienna meeting of the IAEA at the same time urged North Korea to stop reactivating its weapons-producing atomic program.

Besides Iran, Syria and Libya, US officials have said that North Korea's customer list for missiles or related components going back to the mid-1980s includes Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

US government officials have also said that A.Q. Khan - the Pakistani scientist who confessed in 2004 to running an illegal nuclear market - had close connections with North Korea, trading in equipment, facilitating international deals for components and swapping nuclear know-how.


"The Middle East remains on the receiving end of the DPRK's reckless activities," Danieli told the meeting, alluding the North by the abbreviation of its name.

"At least half a dozen countries in the region ... have become eager recipients" of the North's arms and nuclear sales, he said.
Iran denies that it received any assistance for its nuclear program from North Korea.

What this proves is that the six-power talks with North Korea over disarmament have failed - a fact that was also indicated by North Korea restarting its Yongbyon nuclear complex in mid-August. It underlines once again the danger in letting dictatorships obtain nuclear weapons and underscores why Iran must be stopped before it goes nuclear.


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