2003 May 21 Wednesday
Key North Korean Missile Components Smuggled From Japan

Testifying under the alias of Mr. Bok Koo Lee a North Korean defector says North Korea smuggles key missile guidance system parts from Japan.

"I worked for nine years as an expert in the guidance system for the North Korean missile industry, and I can tell you definitely that over 90 percent of these parts come from Japan," Lee told the Financial Management, the Budget and International Security Subcommittee of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. "The way they bring this in is through . . . the North Korean association inside Japan, and they bring it by ship every three months."

The North Koreans are loyal customers. The North Korean regime does not want substitutes for Japanese parts.

"We are too accustomed to Japanese parts and there were no substitutes," Lee said, speaking in Korean.

Lee defected in July 1997 and so his information is fairly old at this point. It is possible that by now the North Koreans have developed designs that can use parts from other countries as well.

The US Senate Subcommittee on Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security Committee on Governmental Affairs has a page with links to the testimony that was delivered on the day Lee testified. Lee's published testimony on that page does not include the above quote but it does include information about a trip he made to a Middle Eastern country to demonstrate North Korean missiles.

When we finally arrived at our destination and parked, the commander yelled "Battle Ready!" While doing the routine for battle readiness, we opened up the curtains to find out for the first time that we were in a desert area. We also opened the back door to connect the power cables to the on-board batteries. Although it was nighttime, we could see and immediately we realized that we were in a Middle Eastern country, judging by the foreign soldier and his physical makeup. The way our commander talked with this counterpart soldier outside the vehicle and the fact that all the coordinates were already programmed in made us believe that all this was pre-planned and expected.

The public portion of his testimony does not confirm this but a press report says he discovered the trip was made to Iran.

During a visit to Pyongyang on his return, Bok said he was told by senior North Korean officials that his mission had been to Iran, and testified that his plant subsequently churned out more of the missile control vehicles he had worked on during the project.

Another North Korean defector who testified on the same day reported on North Korean opium fields and heroin production for black market export.

In the late 1997, the central government ordered that all local collective farms must cultivate 10 Chungbo (Korean land unit equal to approx. 25 acres) of poppy farm beginning in 1998. Chinese government got this information and dispatched reporters and policemen to take pictures of these farms near the border. All opium thus produced are sent to the pharmaceutical plants in Nanam area of Chungjin City in Hamkyung-Bukdo Province. They are processed and refined into heroin under the supervision of seven to eight drug experts from Thailand. This is all done under the direct control and supervision of the central government.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 May 21 01:19 PM  US Foreign Weapons Proliferation Control


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