Strategic Weapons: March 9, 2000

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Egypt is thought to be developing a new theater ballistic missile with a range of 1,000km. While this is disturbing enough, even more alarming are reports that Egypt is obtaining missile technology from North Korea to push this program forward. Some Israeli and US intelligence sources believe that Egypt is sending Western (and particularly US) missile technology to North Korea to be used in making missile parts that the North Koreans then ship back to Egypt. (Three Egyptian companies were sanctioned by the US last March for sending dual-use items of US technology to North Korea.) The Israeli reports on the issue are far more frantic that the US reports, and the Israelis feel that the US is soft-pedaling the issue because Egypt is its closest Arab ally. The Egyptian-North Korean connection is known to be decades old; Egypt sold Scud-B missiles to North Korea in 1981. These were reverse-engineered by North Korea.--Stephen V Cole

 


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