North Korea, Syria, and
an experiment with two short-range scud missiles which resulted in the deaths of some 20 people, the Japanese Kyodo news agency reported. The agency based its report on a quote by a Western diplomat who claimed the failed experiment took place in May 2009.
According to the report one of the missiles went off route and landed in a market in a northern Syrian town not far from the Turkish border. Dozens were killed and injured while military forces sealed the area and collected the missile's residue.
The diplomatic source claimed that the military forces denied any media coverage of the incident.
It appears the second missile exploded near the Iraqi border.
A military source told the news agency that the incident was most likely caused by a problem with the missiles' navigation system.
The yet to be confirmed report indicates cooperation between North Korea, Syria and Iran in developing scud missiles.
Four years ago a similar malfunction occurred during a rocket test in Syria.
The New York Times reported at the time that Syria was experimenting with three scud missiles when one of them came apart over Turkish territory, and parts of it fell on local farmers. It was the first Syrian test to have been conducted on missiles developed using North Korean technologies since 2001.