North Korea, The Global Arms Dealer: Dr. Bruce Bechtol

November 9th, 2018

When we think about the threat posed by North Korea, we tend to narrowly talk about the missiles and nuclear weapons that are inside North Korea. But North Korea is also a prolific international arms dealer - it is largely responsible for the missile programs in Iran and Pakistan, not to mention small arms proliferation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite this, other than the occasional news stories about a boat load of North Korean guns in the Caribbean and gas masks that were heading to Syria being intercepted on the high seas, media coverage of North Korea’s arms sales abroad has been scant. And when public attention comes short, it runs the risk of getting left behind in diplomatic negotiations.

Here to give us a better sense of what is going on, our guest today is Dr. Bruce Bechtol, author of “North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa: Enabling Violence and Instability” (Amazon page link here). We discuss how Pyongyang’s global arms sales activities have implications for both the effectiveness of our sanctions policy towards North Korea and Pyongyang’s ability to make its own weapons program more deadly.

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