North Korea, Iran Swapping Missile Tech: UN Report

Report angers China for claims it helps facilitate illegal transfers
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2011 6:22 AM CDT
In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, a North Korean missile on a truck is on display at a massive military parade to mark the 65th anniversary of the nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

(Newser) – Iran and North Korea have been illegally swapping missile technology, apparently with the help of China, according to a confidential UN report acquired by Reuters yesterday. It found that "p rohibited ballistic missile-related item" are suspected of being transferred via Air Koryo or Iran Air flights; North Korea prefers to use chartered cargo flights "from or to air cargo hubs which lack the kind of monitoring and security to which passenger terminals and flights are now subject."

As part of its evidence, the report cited a North Korean military parade in October 2010 that featured a new warhead for its Nodong missile that bore "a strong design similarity with the Iranian Shahab-3 triconic warhead." China is reportedly unhappy with the report and unlikely to OK its release to the public. The report, which was submitted to the group tasked with monitoring North Korea's compliance with the UN sanctions that were imposed following its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests, also said there is no evidence that Burma is working on a secret nuclear weapons program with North Korean help, though it did recommend continued vigilance.

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