Tuesday, August 27, 2013

N. Korea tried to export gas masks to Syria: media

Should be no surprise here.  But I wonder if actions like these are affecting the north's decision making calculus regarding Kaesong, Family Reunions, and Kumgangsan.  If the regime is not able to get hard currency through its weapons proliferation and military equipment sales, then perhaps that is contributing to the charm offensive with the ROK.  I think we should keep in mind that the effects of an aggressive international campaign against the regime's Department or Office 39 could be far reaching on a number of levels in both the short and long term.

N. Korea tried to export gas masks to Syria: media

Description:  Syrian rebel tries on a gas mask seized from a Syrian army factory on July 18, 2013
North Korea tried to export gas masks to Syria but they were seized in Turkey along with arms and ammunition, a Japanese daily said Tuesday, as the US threatened action over an alleged chemical weapons attack.
A Libyan-registered vessel, identified as Al En Ti Sar, left North Korea for Syria earlier this year with the consignment, the Sankei Shimbun said, quoting unnamed sources from the US military, Japanese and South Korean intelligence.
The US military, which obtained the information, was tracking the ship in coordination with other countries, the daily -- which is known for its North Korea coverage -- said in a detailed report.
The vessel sailed through Dardanelles in Turkey on April 3 and was searched shortly after by Turkish authorities, who had been tipped off by the US.
Turkish officials seized 1,400 rifles and pistols and some 30,000 bullets as well as gas masks apparently for chemical protection, the daily said.
Description: orth Korean gas masks enroute to Syria

US authorities believe that the ship was intending to unload its cargo in Turkey and send it overland to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, the Sankei said.
(Continued at the link below)

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