Thu 3 Apr 2008
Filed under: Guns,News
North Korea has been selling multiple rocket launchers to military-ruled Burma since the two countries restored ties last year in violation of UN sanctions, Japan’s NHK public broadcaster reported.
Quoting unspecified diplomatic sources, NHK said in a report late on Wednesday that the launchers were the same type as those deployed near the demilitarized zone separating the Korean peninsula.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
A Security Council resolution passed after North Korea’s 2006 nuclear test blocks trade with the secretive communist country in dangerous weapons, heavy conventional weapons and luxury goods.
Many Western countries, including members of the European Union, the United States and Australia, maintain economic and military sanctions on military-ruled Burma, which was widely condemned in 2007 for a crackdown on monk-led protests.
Diplomatic relations between North Korea and Burma were cut off following the 1983 Rangoon bombing in which Pyongyang agents killed 17 South Korean officials, but were restored in April, 2007.
North Korea is locked in a dispute with the international community over its nuclear ambitions. It has agreed to give up its nuclear programs in exchange for economic and diplomatic benefits, but has yet to produce a full declaration of those programs.
NHK report also said ‘full-scale’ exports of the weapons had been handled by an unnamed Singapore trading company. The report gave no further details.
In response to media queries on the report, Singapore’s foreign affairs ministry said: “We take such allegations very seriously and will certainly investigate. We are committed to fulfilling our international obligations to prevent the proliferation and illicit trafficking of arms and weapons of mass destruction.”