PIIE Blog | North Korea: Witness to Transformation
The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan
research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. More › ›
Subscribe to North Korea: Witness to Transformation Search
North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Syria: A modest proposal

by | November 19th, 2012 | 06:25 am

Syria has been popping up frequently in the Witness to Transformation blog of late, most recently in Steph Haggard’s piece on possible North Korean involvement in missiles fired from Gaza into Israel.

More often, however, the linkage has been via interdiction of North Korean arms allegedly bound for Syria in violation of UN Security Council sanction resolutions. But what the latest episode appears to illustrate is less North Korean perfidy than stupidity: they sold to the wrong Syrians.

Rather than selling small arms to the Assad regime, they should be selling to the Free Syrian Army. The Gulf Arabs will pay cash, and the US, if not exactly providing a naval escort, would probably look the other way, just as we did with respect to sanctions-busting North Korean arms sales to Ethiopia when that country was busy fighting al-Shabab in Somalia.

Shoot, the way things are going in Syria, the Gulf Arabs would probably be willing to hire North Korean mercenaries—and we know the Kim regime has had no problem with renting them out in the past.

More seriously, if you are interested in Syria, take a look at a new website for news coverage on this country.