North Korea gave weapons to Syria, officials say


North Korean defectors hold defaced posters of North Korea leader Kim Jong Il and his son Kim Jong Un as they participate in an anti-North Korea protest in front of the South Korean Defense Ministry on Nov. 29, 2010 in Seoul.


Chung Sung-Jun

While the US recently promised $30 million in humanitarian aid to the Syrian opposition, North Korea is accused of making more violent donations to the conflict, or at least trying to.  

North Korea tried to export hundreds of ballistic missile parts to Syria, UN diplomats told France 24. The discovery was made in May, when South Korean authorities confiscated cargo that they believe came from North Korea. The cargo was set to be sent to a Syrian company.

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South Korean authorities seized at least 445 graphite cylinders that were disguised as lead pipes, Voice of America reported. If true, the shipment is a blatant violation of sanctions imposed against North Korea after it conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. Under the sanctions, North Korea is banned from importing or exporting nuclear and missile technology. 

"It appears the cylinders were intended for Syria's missile program," a diplomat told Reuters. "China assured us they will investigate what looks like a violation of UN sanctions."

China is promising to get involved with the investigation because the ship used to export the missile parts is owned by a Shanghai shipping company, the AFP reported