Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Israel warns of N. Korea missile proliferation in Mideast

In letter to North Korea sanctions committee, Jewish state's UN mission expresses 'ongoing concern regarding proliferation of ballistic missiles from Pyongyang'

Israel has told the UN Security Council's North Korea sanctions panel that ballistic missile proliferation by Pyongyang is destabilizing the Middle East and urged countries to step up efforts to stop it.


"Israel would like to express its ongoing concern regarding the proliferation of ballistic missiles from (North Korea), and to encourage the international community to strengthen its efforts in response to these dangers," Israel's UN mission said in a letter to the North Korea sanctions committee.


"Israel is particularly concerned by the dangerous effects of the proliferation activities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) on the stability and the peace efforts in the Middle East," said the letter, which was sent to the committee last week but released on Friday.


Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in May that a shipment of North Korean weapons, including rockets and rocket-propelled grenades, seized in Thailand last December was headed for Islamist groups Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon.


He also said North Korea was providing Israel's foes Iran and Syria with aid for their missile programs.


Pyongyang was hit with fresh UN sanctions last year to punish it for a nuclear test in May 2009, its second atomic detonation. The expanded measures were aimed at cutting off its arms sales, a vital export estimated to earn the destitute state more than $1 billion a year.


North Korea's biggest arm sales come from ballistic missiles, with Iran and other Middle Eastern states as customers, according to US government officials.


Iran is also under sanctions for refusing to halt sensitive parts of its nuclear program that could be used to produce atomic weapon fuel. Tehran rejects Western allegations that its nuclear program is aimed at producing arms.


A UN panel of experts delivered a report to the North Korea sanctions committee in May that suggested North Korea has been using front companies to export nuclear and missile technology worldwide and has helped Iran, Syria and Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. 


פרסום ראשון: 07.23.10, 23:27
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