Iraq paid North Korea
$10 million for missiles

Sunday, October 5, 2003

A U.S. investigation has disclosed that Iraq concluded an intermediate-range missile deal with North Korea in 2001.

David Kay, who headed a Bush administration team in the search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, disclosed the agreement last week. Kay said the report of an Iraqi-North Korean deal emerged in Iraqi government documents as well as in interviews with captured Iraqi officials.

Iraq signed a $10 million contract to buy technology and equipment from North Korea for the production of ballistic missiles based on the No-Dong intermediate-range missile.U.S. officials said the deal was completed in June 2001.

The No-Dong has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers and served as the basis for Iran's Shihab-3, with a range of more than 1,300 kilometers, Middle East Newsline reported.

"The Iraqis were engaged in a very full-scale program that would have extended their delivery systems out beyond 1,000 kilometers." Kay said.

But officials said North Korea failed to deliver the ordered equipment to Baghdad because of intense U.S. monitoring on Pyongyang. In the end, they said, Pyongyang did not return the $10 million to Iraq.

"It's a lesson in negotiating with the North Koreans that the Iraqis found out the hard way," Kay said.

Officials said the North Korean project was meant to upgrade Iraqi Scud-based ballistic missiles to that of the No-Dong, a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution that limited Iraqi missiles to a range of 150 kilometers.

Kay said his team found plans for the extension of several Iraqi missiles. He said one program called for the extension of the range of the SAM-2 anti-aircraft missile and the conversion of the Silkworm anti-ship cruise missile into a land-attack missile.

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