- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Inside the Ring: All eyes on Moscow’s military moves in Ukraine
Discovery of foreign components represents a setback for the Obama administration’s non-proliferation policies. The administration has sought to use economic sanctions and financial controls to prevent North Korea from getting long-range missiles. But the North’s missile program has advanced steadily over the past decade, creating more lethal road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Additionally, Pyongyang’s use of foreign missile parts in the Taepodong-2 is expected to complicate the administration’s push to loosen exports controls on high-technology goods. President Obama has been seeking looser controls to boost U.S. economic competitiveness.
Covert weapons procurement networks by rogue states like North Korea and Iran, however, raise questions about whether loosening high-tech controls will increase national security threats to the U.S. and its allies.
Officials confirmed the foreign parts in the North Korean missile after the discovery was first reported last week by Japan’s NHK television.
U.S. and South Korean technicians discovered that the missile debris contained U.S.-made electronic circuits, British transmitters and a Swiss-made electrical component. Other parts were made in China and states of the former Soviet Union.
The parts were manufactured during the past several years, indicating they were procured covertly by the North Koreans despite multiple U.N. sanctions against such trade. The parts were described as dual-use components not covered directly by U.N. sanctions that North Korean procurement agents imported by circumventing international controls.
The discovery could result in future U.N. sanctions aimed at closing the loophole on dual-use components.
State Department spokeswoman Sandra Postell declined to comment. “We do not comment on intelligence matters,” she told Inside the Ring.
Thomas Moore, a former professional staff members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations involved in export control issues, said the discovery is “not particularly shocking to me.”
“You can expect to see many more of these items appearing in the missile programs of U.S. adversaries, given the relaxed posture evident in the Obama administration’s treatment of space technology export controls combined with the oft-stated but usual phrase of the era: ‘When it doubt, ship it out,’” Mr. Moore said.
“It’d be one thing if they were also working the threat by providing for better defense of the homeland from long-range attack, but they’ve gutted that, too,” he said. “I suppose their crass view might be that this makes lawyers and shifty businessmen more profitable, but really does show how far down we have come in the last decade.”
• Contact Bill Gertz at @BillGertz.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
- Inside the Ring: Pentagon reevaluating Obama's pivot to Asia
- Inside the Ring: All eyes on Moscow's military moves in Ukraine
- Inside the Ring: China readies for 'short, sharp' war with Japan
- Inside the Ring: U.S., China in war of words over South China Sea air zone
- Inside the Ring: China military on the rails
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Brennan: Russia 'absolutely' could invade eastern Ukraine
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- White House touts leadership in handling of crisis in Ukraine, despite lack of results
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to 'man up' in horse carriage fight
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again