중앙데일리

North spent $300 million overseas for armaments

Mar 07,2003
Despite years of severe economic crisis, North Korea spent more than $300 million on arms purchases over a decade, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said yesterday.
The institute’s report covered conventional arms transfers between 1993 and 2002. It said North Korea imported 35 Styx missiles from Russia from 1992 to 1996. It fired a derivative of that missile Feb. 24 into its territorial waters east of the peninsula.
Of the $308 million in purchases of conventional arms, 57 percent of the money was spent to buy weapons in Kazakhstan. Pyeongyang spent $103 million to buy Russian-built weapons and paid $29 million for Chinese arms.
The report said 34 MiG21s were bought illegally in Kazakhstan in 1999 for $8 million, but Azerbaijan confiscated six of the fighter jets.
Sixteen submarines reportedly were imported from China, and fire control radars and anti-tank missiles from Russia.
“North Korea continued to reinforce its conventional forces, in addition to nuclear and ballistic missile developments, despite its perennial economic crisis,” a Seoul official commented.
Washington and Tokyo continued to monitor North Korea’s missile program. The Kyodo news agency reported that unnamed senior U.S. officials using satellite photos have detected activity suggestive of preparation for test-firings of the 1,300-kilometer (807 mile) range Rodong missiles that can reach Japan.
Japan’s defense minister, Shigeru Ishiba, told the Diet Wednesday that the Rodong’s accuracy is about 50 percent. “After launch, the missile takes up to eight minutes to reach Japan,” he said.
The Tokyo Shimbun reported yesterday that the Japanese government would impose economic sanctions against the North if Pyeongyang test-fires a ballistic missile or reprocesses used fuel roads. The sanctions would include barring money transfers to the North and halting payment for a nuclear reactor project in North Korea.


by Ser Myo-ja


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