As we noted here and, I believe, elsewhere, it has been rumored that North Korean nuclear engineers have been sent to Syria to aid that country’s nuclear weapons development program. Today, diplomatic sources confirmed that North Korean engineers and “materials” have, in fact, been dispatched to Syria:
North Korea admitted to sending engineers to military- related and other facilities in Syria during its recent talks with the United States over its nuclear program, diplomatic sources in New York said Friday.
The dispatch of engineers and other personnel for bilateral cooperation, including on the military front, started in around 2000, North Korea told the United States in their talks from the end of last year to January.
The North also exported materials to Syria, the sources said.
North Korea denied, however, that this scientific cooperation related to nuclear weapons:
Pyongyang, however, denied its involvement in Syrian nuclear development, according to the sources.
Sure, that’s plausible. Maybe the Syrians wanted to learn about North Korea’s industry-leading flat-panel television technology. Who wants Japanese engineers when you can get access to North Korea’s? Or perhaps the North Korean engineers were dieticians–human engineers, so to speak–who could teach North Korea’s techniques for making each generation shorter than the preceding one, with a shorter life span, too.
Syria may not be a technological powerhouse, but the idea that it would want North Korean engineering expertise, or North Korean “materials,” relating to anything other than nuclear weapons is laughable.
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