Syria joined the axis of evil by buying WMD from North Korea
Weapons from North Korea have ended up in Syria, ultimately enriching the Kim regime and prolonging Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power.The North Koreans and the Syrian government are recidivous liars when it comes to their WMD operations. They are both uninhibited when it comes to the use of WMD. Some of this comes from their relative weakness in the area of conventional weapons. They both exploit the relative weakness of the UN when it comes to enforcing its restrictions on the use of such weapons. In the case of Syria, it also has an ally in russia that is unihbited when it comes to hitting civilian targets.
The civil war in Syria, which began in 2011, has been a tragedy for millions of people, including refugees fleeing the violence and residents caught in the crossfire. But for North Korea’s ruling elite, the conflict has in many ways been a good thing.
Since the 1960s, North Korea has sold arms and equipment to Syria, and provided other sorts of military-to-military assistance, such as training and technical assistance. Of particular importance, Pyongyang has helped develop Syria’s chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Today, North Korea, faced with United Nations sanctions over its ongoing missile and nuclear tests, denies providing such assistance to Syria. But evidence has emerged suggesting that in one way or another, via front companies and elaborate logistics, war materials from North Korea have ended up in Syria, ultimately enriching the Kim regime.
“It’s a gold mine for North Korea,” said Bruce Bechtol, a political science professor at Angelo State University in Texas who’s penned a handful of books on the country. “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to North Korea—as long as Syria doesn’t fall, which could happen.”
Pyongyang has reportedly also supplied troops and advisors, who have gained valuable real-world experience from the Syrian conflict. Any lesson learned by the North Koreans in Syria, of course, could be applied to future battles on the Korean peninsula.
“Korean analysts should take note of how chemical weapons were used in the Syrian civil war because this is likely going to be a test-bed for future North Korean actions in a conflict with the South,” Bechtol noted in a 2015 research paper (pdf, p.1) entitled “North Korea and Syria: Partners in Destruction and Violence.”