Kim Jong Un Keeps the Illegal Weapons Flowing

Shipments to Burma, Syria have been blocked this year
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2012 8:49 AM CST

(Newser) – Dear ol' Dad may be dead and gone, but his illegal-weapons-exporting ways live on under the watch of Kim Jong Un, reports the Wall Street Journal, which spoke with officials who verify that ships and planes en route to Syria and Burma from North Korea and laden with missile technology and weapons have recently been blocked. In May, South Korea intercepted graphite cylinders, a potential missile component, headed for Syria; in Japan, a Taiwanese ship following an intricate and complex route to Burma was found to have questionable cargo bearing an inscription for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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US officials had hoped that Western pop music-loving Kim would be more willing than his predecessor to ease the country's weapons proliferation, but the Journal reports that those hopes have been squashed following the exports disclosures. Also worrisome: Leaders from the US and elsewhere suspect that increased activity at the country's satellite launch station indicates Kim may be planning another long-range missile test, the second under his watch. The firm that provided the imagery showing a fresh tent, trucks, and people at the site says the launch could happen "during the next three weeks." (Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)

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