Syrian missile factory built with DPRK cooperation

The German newspaper Die Welt published a story which claims North Korea supplied Syria with a maraging steel and technical support which it has used to upgrade an underground missile factory that produces M-600 missiles.

Maraging steel is on the the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) monitoring lists, and its export is prohibited to sanctioned countries. North Korea is also prohibited from such activities under UNSC resolutions 1718 and 1874.

The Syrian missile factory, as identified in Haaretz,  can be seen on Google Earth at 35.006089°,  36.827331°, Google Maps, and Wikimapia, but below I have posted a couple of screen shots:

 

Above (left) is an overhead shot of the underground facility. Above (right) is a closeup of the facility entrance. Assuming the floor plan of the factory is a simple square, it could be 1,000m x 1,000m in area–and that is just one floor! The oldest Google Earth imagery of the facility is from 2003-7-12.

Additional information:
1. Joshua Pollack recently published a paper on the demand for conventional North Korean military output.  If you have not read it, you should. Click here for a link to the paper.

2. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) published North Korean Security Challenges: A Net Assessment. It presents a thorough analysis of the range of threats emanating from the DPRK. In addition to an assessment of military hardware and posture, the 216-page book looks at state criminality and behaviour relating to human security.

3. Joeseph Bermudez wrote about a North Korean missile factory here.

4. Previous posts on the DPRK and Syria are here, including nuclear proliferation.

Read the full stories below:
Syrien rüstet Raketen mit Nordkoreas Hilfe auf
Die Welt
2011-11-24

North Korea supplying Syria, Iran with prohibited nuclear technology, report says
Haaretz
Yossi Melman
2011-11-28

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