ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on September 8th, 2013 at 8:05 am

How North Korea is Responsible for Syria’s Chemical Wespons

» by in: North Korea

I have posted before about North Korea’s involvement in the conflict in Syria and now Gordon Chang has a good article that shows how the North is responsible for Syria’s chemical weapons:

One week ago, Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people in Ghouta, near Damascus. Doctors Without Borders put the death toll at 355, with another 3,600 showing “neurotoxic symptoms.”

Where did the Syrian regime get its large stores of chemical weapons? There are many sources spread across the world, but the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea seems to be Assad’s main supplier. Moreover, North Korea’s ally, China, looks like it also has had some role in the deadly trade, at least behind the scenes. The international community needs to begin asking questions of both Pyongyang and Beijing.

Syria’s program is by no means homegrown. North Korea built at least two chemical weapons factories in Syria, according to Bruce Bechtol, the author of a trilogy of books on the North’s military and its proliferation activities.

Pyongyang is also providing “after-sales services” to Assad, even putting its personnel close to the front lines. North Korean officers, for instance, have been spotted around Aleppo. The location is significant because in mid-March allegations of chemical weapons use near that northern city surfaced.

Pyongyang has been sending chemical weapons experts to Syria since the mid-1990s. [World Affairs Journal]

You can read the rest at the link but let’s also not forget North Korea’s involvement in constructing the nuclear reactor in Syria that the Israelis bombed in 2007. Lets also not forget the chemical weapons components that North Korea was caught smuggling in 2009 to Syria.

The Marmot’s Hole also has a posting about North Korea’s chemical weapons as well.

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  • Liz
    8:59 am on September 8th, 2013 1

    I don’t doubt that the DPRK would, probably has, contributed to the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal in some way.

    But I don’t know what that would be terribly significant. It’s very old technology and I see no reason why Syria couldn’t make it anyway? Sodium flouride is a pretty common substance and Syria (along with the DPRK, Egypt, Angola, South Sudan) are not parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

  • 2ID Doc
    11:59 am on September 8th, 2013 2

    Although I agree with Liz that DPRK is continuing to provide technical assistance to Syria, there are still 2 other things to consider. First it is a known fact that the WMDs that the UN never found in Iraq were shipped off to Syria in the early 2000s, once Saddam lost power, al-Assad had a gift. Second the UN hasn’t said for sure who was shooting the chemical weapons; it is possible that the rebels got their hands on a few rockets and shot them, knowing the blame would be placed at the Syrian government’s feet.
    In any case, this is a civil war that to date only the French have any interest in, so that should be a clear sign to the President that we need to stay out.

  • Liz
    12:03 pm on September 8th, 2013 3

    #2: The shelf life on the Iraq ones would have probably expired by now.

    I agree with you on the rebels. It seems an awfully large gamble for the Syrian government to take for what amounts to a relatively small attack.

  • Flyingsword
    4:56 pm on September 8th, 2013 4

    Where they got their chem weapons doesn’t mean anything now…water over the dam, under the brige, OBE..etc etc.

    None of this means the U.S. should get involved. Let the Sunni and Shia work out their differences…or maybe that is why we are getting involved.

    In this corner:
    Iran – Shia
    Bashar Clan: Shia subset – Alawite Muslim

    In the other:
    Rebels – Mainly Sunni
    Saudi Arabia – Sunni (Wahhabi)
    Kenyan muslim population – majority sunni

  • Glans
    5:26 pm on September 8th, 2013 5

    Flyingsword, you forgot the Christians.

  • Flyingsword
    6:49 pm on September 8th, 2013 6

    The minority Christians are just hoping whoever wins doesn’t kill them.

    Mostly on the side of Bashar. (The devil you know kinda thing…)

    Arab Spring weather doesn’t usually work out well for any minority religious group in majority muslim countries.

  • can'tsmellthis
    8:40 pm on September 8th, 2013 7

    what’s important is that no spotlight is yet being directed at nK or China. GI is correct, and the rest of you are off on a speculation expedition.

  • Flyingsword
    9:24 pm on September 8th, 2013 8

    and even if a spotlight light, flood light, or beacon is put on nK or China…then what?

    I will continue to speculate and say nothing. Everyone will just shrug and say (in their best Brooklyn accent), “eehh, it’s China, whata ya gonna do about it…??

  • Jake
    12:20 am on September 9th, 2013 9

    #5 You forgot Hezbollah — Shia and Assad supporter

  • Korean
    2:51 am on September 9th, 2013 10

    God almighty, would you wipe DPRK off the face of this earth? knock knock… Are you there?

  • Glans
    3:24 am on September 9th, 2013 11

    Flyingsword 6, the Christians support Assad because he protects them. Al Qaeda would like to destroy them.

  • Liz
    6:15 am on September 9th, 2013 12

    #9: Yes, it’s Hezbollah versus Al Qaeda.

  • Liz
    6:18 am on September 9th, 2013 13

    Anyone claiming we need to be involved in this thing based on the UN Charter should remember this is the same charter the USSR and Nationalist China signed into. They wouldn’t have joined an organization that was going to tell them how to run their internal affairs. Give the French and Russians blue helmets and let ‘em have at it. They want it anyway. We can provide tankers ONLY (if we’re compensated).

  • Glans
    9:12 am on September 9th, 2013 14

    Russia urges Syria to give up its chemical weapons, while President Assad talks tough. Nedla Pickler has the big story.

  • Glans
    10:25 am on September 10th, 2013 15

    Climate change contributed to the Syrian crisis. There are many other factors, of course. But drought led to impoverishment, internal migration, and political instability. Brad Plumer interviewed Francesco Gemia and Caitlin Werrell for the Washington Post.

  • ChickenHead
    4:00 pm on September 10th, 2013 16

    Climate change just caused a regime change in Australia…

    …no, wait…

    …the money-grubbing taxation response to bogus climate change claims were rejected by voters who appear to not be as blind to being bent over by tax and spend liberals as it first appeared.


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