UN Sees Secret Partnership Between North Korea, Syria

Kim Jong Un may be selling Bashar al-Assad parts for chemical weapons
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2018 1:47 PM CST
North Korea May Be Helping Syria With Chemical Weapons
This frame grab from video by the Syrian Civil Defense group, aka the White Helmets, shows members helping residents of Ghouta during airstrikes.   (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

Two leaders considered to be pariahs by much of the world may be providing each other much-needed help—with dire consequences. A comprehensive new UN report alleges that North Korea is selling equipment to Syria that can be used in chemical weapons production, reports the New York Times. Specifically, the report says Kim Jong Un's regime is selling Bashar al-Assad's military items such as acid-resistant valves and thermometers. If true, that means the partnership is providing financially strapped North Korea with money to continue working on its nuclear arsenal, while helping Assad continue his tactic of unleashing chemical attacks on civilians.

Assad denies any such attacks, but he has routinely been accused of them by aid workers dealing with casualties. In fact, just two days ago, Syria was accused of a chlorine attack on Eastern Ghouta, reports CNN. The UN report has yet to be made public, but it's expected to be released next month. The Times notes that Syria and North Korea have strong ties that go back decades. (For the second time, Russia used video-game footage to represent the actual fighting in Syria.)

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