October 27, 2021

The violent consequences of the North Korea-Syria arms trade

Clandestine cooperation between pariah states has left trail of bodies

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The blast at the al-Safir facility in July 2007, killing Syrians, Iranians and at least three North Korean ballistic missile specialists, is just one occasion in which underover operatives have died working on Damascus’s WMD arsenal.

The clandestine weapons collaboration between North Korea and Damascus in recent years has left a trail of bodies from Moscow to the Syrian desert to North Korea in a deadly game of spy versus spy hidden in the shadows of the Middle East.