North Korean WMD Trading Relationships

Published April 26, 2011
By Jonas Vaicikonis
Publication TTCVR1116
Report available in PDF and Flash formats
North Korea threatens world security by hastening the spread of nuclear weapons and related technologies to state and non-state actors interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. The North uses two pathways to acquire banned nuclear equipment for itself and for others: through state-to-state contact and through its network of individuals engaged in illicit trade. Both pathways pose a danger to the international community, but it is increasingly North Korea’s collaborations with other states interested in nuclear weapons technology that threaten the global nonproliferation regime. North Korea’s unscrupulous history of selling narcotics, counterfeiting currency, and selling arms does not encourage optimism in its willingness to refrain from spreading nuclear weapons technology. Indeed, the examples in this paper demonstrate that North Korea’s relationships with Pakistan, Syria, and Iran have advanced the nuclear programs of all four states, despite United Nation’s sanctions.


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