Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

North Korea-Syria Connection: All Neo-Con Hype?

Posted by K.E. White on September 18, 2007

Recent reports have suggested Syria may have received nuclear technology from North Korea. Such a development 1) has been a blow to administration dealings with North Korea and 2) a worrisome sign that Syria might come under quite literal fire.

The source for these concerns lays chiefly with John Bolton. From the World Tribune:

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said Syria has long sought nuclear and other WMD capabilities. Bolton said Syria might have agreed to provide uranium enrichment facilities to Iran and North Korea, both of whom have been under international pressure to end their nuclear weapons programs. On Monday, North Korea delayed talks scheduled for Sept. 19 for an end to the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

“Syria is very aggressive in pursuing WMD capability,” Bolton told the Israeli daily, Jerusalem Post. “It’s a diversion game — to carry on even when you are supposed to have halted, as in the case of North Korea. And I’d be surprised if Syria would do anything with North Korea without Iranian acquiescence.”

But there’s another spin of this story. From BBC News:

Joseph Cirincione, director for nuclear policy at the Washington-based Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank, has gone so far as to describe the story as “nonsense”.

Selective leaks are being used to play up the Syria-North Korea connection, he writes on the online site of the journal Foreign Policy.

“This appears to be the work of a small group of officials leaking cherry-picked, unvetted ‘intelligence’ to key reporters in order to promote a pre-existing political agenda. If this sounds like the run-up to the war with Iraq, then it should,” he writes.

Neocon hype to derail positive developments with North Korea? Or proof that negotiation with North Korea–and by extension Iran–is pointless?

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