Report: North Korea sells Egypt
24 medium-range missiles
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
North Korea concluded an agreement to sell
24 No-Dong medium-range missiles to Egypt according to published reports.
The accord was signed earlier this year. The South
Korean daily JoongAng Ilbo said the sale will include both missiles and
South Korean diplomatic sources confirmed reports of a missile
deal between Pyongyang and Cairo. U.S. defense sources said a previous North Korean
deal to sell 50 No-Dong missile engines to Egypt was stopped by Washington, Middle East Newsline reported.
"North Korea concluded the transaction secretly with Egypt earlier this
year," JoongAng Ilbo quoted a diplomatic source as saying.
The newspaper identified the North Korean missile as the Rodong, named
after the town where the medium-range weapon is being produced. The No-Dong
has a range of at least 1,000 kilometers.
U.S. officials said Washington and Seoul agree regarding most of the
details of North Korean sales to Egypt and other Middle East clients. They
said the Egyptian-North Korean agreement might be on the administration
agenda during the visit of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher to
"I would say that we have a close strategic arrangement relationship
with Egypt, and we regularly discuss a wide range of security issues,
including nonproliferation," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher
Nonproliferation, I would say, is a frequent topic of discussion with the
Egyptians, so I wouldn't be surprised for it to come up."
Earlier this year, Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed with Maher
the North Korean offer of No-Dong missiles to Egypt. On Monday, U.S.
President George Bush warned Pyongyang of continued exports of
missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
For years, Egypt tried to purchase missiles from Europe and the United
States. The newspaper said when Egypt's request was rejected Pyongyang was
approached. North Korea immediately agreed.
"We believe the North Koreans agreed to sell as many as 24 Rodong
missiles to the Egyptian military," the newspaper quoted a fellow at the
Korean Institute for Defense Analysis, a military research center in Seoul,
Earlier this month, North Korea said it wanted to improve relations with
Egypt in all fields. Pyongyang is said to be a leading missile supplier to
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
The CIA said in a report in September that North Korea continues to
supply Scud-based missile components and technology to Egypt. The report did
not mention cooperation on the No-Dong.
Israel has expressed concern over the North Korean missile deal with
Egypt, the newspaper said. The Israeli Embassy in Seoul said it has
expressed its government's concern about the missile sales to Pyeongyang. An
Israeli embassy spokesman in Seoul said his government raised the issue with