Under threats of sweeping sanctions by virtually every UN country, North Korea has made yet another power play: assist Syria both in rebuilding the civil war-torn region, and further develop outdated missile and chemical weapons technologies.
This alliance, formed during the 1960’s, could force Washington to scramble for solutions to problems they’ve never faced. Which spells trouble for an already unstable president known for publicizing his disdain toward ‘Rocket Man’ and Bashar Al-Assad.
To appreciate this budding romance, understand that one leader gasses his own people while the other supplies the arsenal to continue said torture.
Despite United Nations intercepting shipments from a blacklisted KOMID in August, North Korea has voiced its willingness to aid Damascus in rebuilding efforts. While many believe reasons behind North Korea’s aiding of Syria is strictly monetary, U.S. military heads know that two well-equipped warlords spells trouble.
Aiding areas in dire need, however, isn’t uncommon to North Korean history.
During Kim Yong-nam’s tenure, relief and rebuilding efforts in Tanzania along with other African countries was common. In fact, farm and infrastructural aid to many impoverished African nations dates back to Kim Il-sung’s rule, which ended in 1994. But during a November 17 call from Rex Tillerson to 30 other U.S.-aligned African nations, the Secretary of State voiced his concerns regarding Pyongyang, urging the countries to sanction bellicose activities the North Korean capital called ‘humanitarian’.
North Korea Aiding Genocide
With Pyongyang exporting weapons and other technologies to aid Al-Assad’s genocidal dominance, Kim Jong-un is learning plenty from Syrian militia to aid his own potential war efforts should U.S. sanctions stick. Munitions including propellants to aid Syrian SCUD’s, and gas protective gear, are just some exports concerning U.S. aligned countries.
Allegations are surfacing that North Korean military heads are actively assisting inside Syria, although both nations vehemently deny this.
Apart from U.S. involvement in eradicating the Islamic State, President Trump has little influence on the nation embattled in a civil war that displaced millions while needlessly murdering hundreds of thousands of residents.
White House heads have increased economic pressure on both nations, to no avail.
With a recent announcement that United States military will stop arming Kurds, North Korea could use this opportunity to further equip Al-Assad’s run of terror while allowing the Islamic State to maintain, and grow, their presence in the region.
Bear in mind North Korea built a nuclear reactor in eastern Syria. And both were Cold War customers of the Soviet Union.
One North Korea. Two Motives?
The hermitic nation, known for controlled tours and only an intranet to access North Korean shopping and social sites, could twice benefit from their aid to Syria.
Building a formidable nuclear presence could allow a much closer attack on U.S. targets. Currently, an armed North Korean ICBM can reach San Francisco in a matter of minutes. That time could cut down dramatically should an intercontinental ballistic missile fire from Syrian territory. Moreover, the military knowledge Kim Jong-un lacks could easily be obtained by simply continuing aid in exchange for allowing North Korean military specialists to keenly observe from a distance.
Whatever North Korean’s motives are regarding Syria, they’ve undoubtedly have an extra weapon simply by allying with the nation at civil unrest.