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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

PROLIFERATION WATCH I vaguely remember that one of the purposes that I had in mind for this blog was to help draw more attention to security issues, particularly those that weren't getting the big coverage. Admittedly that's a mission I've summarily failed at, perhaps with a single exception. But now, without further ado, via Imshin this piece of un-positive news:

U.S. officials confirmed a report that a
train explosion on April 22 killed about
a dozen Syrian technicians near the
Ryongchon province in North Korea. The
officials said the technicians were
accompanying a train car full of missile
components and other equipment from a
facility near the Chinese border to a North
Korea port.
"The way it was supposed work was that the
train car full of missiles and components
would have arrived at the port and some
would have been shipped to Syria while others
would have been transported by air," an
official said.
Officials said the North Korean shipment to
Syria was not meant to have contained
chemical or biological weapons. They said
foreign rescue crews summoned to the train
explosion did not report any chemical contamination.

To be sure Syria's wmds are by no means a big pressing concern, except to Israel. Syria's support for terrorism is a bigger problem though, which shows that there is certainly potential for trouble ahead, and is also the reason for the tough US line against Syria. On the other hand I'm pretty confident that Syria can be brought in from the cold in a way similar to Lybia.
Nonetheless it is negative development to see more weapons going into that region, and it is troubling to see that it is possible for North Korea to export such material. After all, who knows when nukes might be next?

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