‘Watch list’ of North’s SLBM items announced

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‘Watch list’ of North’s SLBM items announced

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday its “watch list” compiling 60 items that North Korea uses in developing submarine-launch ballistic missiles (SLBM). The watch list was made public to help other countries recognize such items and ultimately discourage them from exporting said items to North Korea.

The watch list includes high-tensile steel plates for the submarine hull, anechoic coating material used to blind radar detectors, underwater telephones, echo sounders, gas generators, navigation radars, steam turbines, lead-acid batteries for submarines and launching tubes for torpedoes.

According to the Missile Technology Control Regime, a multilateral partnership among 35 countries to control exports and technology transfer of conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction, the items on the list are not included in the regime’s regulations, but the ministry said the items can be used in the development process of submarines in general, including submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles.

North Korea had test-launched SLBMs three times just this year - on April 23, July 9 and Aug. 24.

Resolution 2270, adopted by the UN Security Council in March, “Reaffirms that… all Member States shall prevent any transfers to the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) by their nationals or from their territories, or from the DPRK by its nationals or from its territory, of technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related items, materials, equipment, goods and technology,” the so-called catch-all provision. The final decisions, however, are voluntarily made by individual countries.

“Some countries have been very strict on implementing this resolution, while others have been somewhat lenient in doing so - not purposefully, but on reasons such as lack of information,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official.

BY YOO JEE-HYE [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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