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North Korea: Arms Trade

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the extent of North Korea's arms trade; which countries North Korea (a) exports arms to and (b) imports arms from; what discussions she has had with her United Nations counterparts on this issue; and if she will make a statement. (132422)

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) does not publish details of its arms exports and imports. However, independent organisations publish estimates, for example the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which gives estimates of the DPRK’s arms imports and exports for 1995-2005.

The DPRK is considered to be the world’s most prolific supplier of ballistic missiles and related technology to countries of concern. During negotiations for the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1718, the UK discussed with international partners in the UN ways to curb the DPRK proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction-related materials around the world. UNSCR 1718, adopted in October 2006, imposes a ban on the export to the DPRK of nuclear and ballistic-missile goods and technologies, a ban on the export of arms to the DPRK, a ban on technical assistance and advice related to all these items and a ban on the export by the DPRK of proliferation-sensitive goods and technologies. The UK and its partners will continue to urge the DPRK to comply with UNSCR 1718 and resume its obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.