The Washington Post: North Korean Ship Seized Off Egypt With Cache of Weapons

A ship bearing the Cambodian flag with a North Korean crew was stopped just before entering the Suez Canal in August. Acting on a tip from US intelligence officials, Egyptian custom agents found more than 30,000 Soviet-style rocket-propelled grenades with removable, non-lethal warheads onboard– the “largest seizure of ammunition in the history of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” according to a UN report. The buyers were Egyptian business executives. “The incident, many details of which were never publicly revealed, prompted the latest in a series of intense, if private, U.S. complaints over Egyptian efforts to obtain banned military hardware from Pyongyang,” reports Joby Warrick. “It also shed light on a little-understood global arms trade that has become an increasingly vital financial lifeline for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the wake of unprecedented economic sanctions.” Egypt emphasizes that it cooperated with investigators and destroyed the grenades, and it’s unclear if North Korea received payment. The United States has since suspended military aid for Egypt. Other countries named as North Korea’s customers: Iran, Burma, Cuba, Syria, Eritrea and at least two terrorist groups. – YaleGlobal

The Washington Post: North Korean Ship Seized Off Egypt With Cache of Weapons

A ship stopped for delivering rocket-propelled grenades with non-lethal warheads to Egypt from North Korea demonstrates challenges in enforcing sanctions
Joby Warrick
Monday, October 2, 2017

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Joby Warrick joined the Post’s national staff in 1996. He has covered national security, the environment and the Middle East and currently writes about terrorism. He is the author of two books, including 2015’s Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, which was awarded a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.

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