North Korea emerges as one of the world’s biggest illicit exporters of small arms, alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran -

North Korea emerges as one of the world’s biggest illicit exporters of small arms, alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran

Credit: scmp.com

  • About: 7 days ago
  • 2,144 views

North Korea has been singled out alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran as one of the world’s most secretive major exporters of small arms, including Kalashnikovs, rockets and machine guns, in a report by experts in Geneva.

Despite increased transparency among the 55 per cent of nations who trade in small arms, the US$6 billion market remains a murky industry in which weapons find their way into the hands of terrorists or are used by states to carry out human rights abuses, according to the Small Arms Survey Trade Update 2017.

Where nations are secretive, evidence is garnered from reports of weapons seizures, including huge hauls from North Korea and Iran.

Such seizures ... coupled with other documented small arms trade activities, are sufficient to justify North Korea’s status as a major small arms exporter
Small Arms Survey Trade Update

In August last year a North Korean vessel was intercepted in Egypt. On board, hidden beneath 2,300 tonnes of iron ore, were 30,000 PG-7 rocket-propelled grenades and their sub components. Suspected North Korean exports of small arms worth US$18 million and destined for Iran were also intercepted on a plane in Thailand in 2009.

“Such seizures ... coupled with other documented small arms trade activities, are sufficient to justify North Korea’s status as a major small arms exporter,” the report said. “Although Iran, North Korea, and the UAE rarely, if ever, recorded small arms exports worth US$10 million or more ... survey research indicates that they are major small arms exporters. It is more difficult to determine the status of Saudi Arabia, which appears to be a significant re-exporter of small arms.”

Tens of thousands of rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers and more than 350 million rounds of ammunition were exported by eight central and southeast European states to Saudi Arabia between 2012 and 2015, the report said. Such shipments were sent to military bases in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and then re-exported to non-Saudi forces in Yemen and Syria.

“Such information indicates that Saudi Arabia also re-exports significant quantities of small arms to armed forces and non-state actors in the Middle East,” the report says.

Irene Pavesi, researcher on the Small Arms Survey, said: “The concealed nature of the small arms trade increases the chances that the transferred weapons will end up in the wrong hands, and help fuel conflict, insecurity and instability around the world.”

Analysis of the flow of deadly weaponry across the globe by the experts based in Geneva also shows:

Brazil has for the first time emerged as among the top five exporters of machine guns, rockets mortars, and other small arms, along with the US, Germany, South Korea and Italy.

The UK is among the top importers of small arms, its trade increased by 18 per cent between 2013 and 2014 to reach US$109 million, mostly for the civilian market.

Weapons exported or re-exported from North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE are getting into the hands of armed militant groups in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

Iraq was among the top 10 importers of small arms in 2014 in a trade worth US$139 million, up from US$10 million in 2013.

The US remains the world’s largest exporter of small arms, with exports worth US$1.1 billion in 2014.

Even nations which aim to be transparent and above board can see weapons fall into the wrong hands. A UN report earlier this year revealed Brazilian weapons makers shipped handguns which were supposed to be destined for Djibouti to a Yemeni arms dealer three months after the imposition of an arms embargo.

In 2015 – the year of the Bataclan, Bardo museum and Charlie Hebdo attacks – there were more terrorist attacks carried out with Kalashnikovs than any other weaponry, raising huge concerns about how the legal weapons can end up on the illicit market and in the hands of terrorists.

Paul Holtom, of the Small Arms Survey said there was still a lack of transparency in the industry.

“We know that complete transparency is not possible, but as a public watchdog our role is to make sure the trade in small arms is not supplying weapons that are going to end up in the hands of terrorists,” he said. “At the moment we cannot say that.”

Follow Us on Twitter

Related stories with North Korea emerges as one of the world’s biggest illicit exporters of small arms, alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran

Suicide bomb near cricket stadium in Afghanistan's capital kills at least 2 -World News
Suicide bomb near cricket stadium in Afghanistan's capital kills at least 2 7 days ago
September 13, 2017 8:20 PMKABUL (REUTERS) - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint near a cricket stadium in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday (Sept 13) as a match was under way, killing at least two people, officials said.
Japanese ex-wrestler turned lawmaker Antonio Inoki urges lower tensions over North Korea -World News
Japanese ex-wrestler turned lawmaker Antonio Inoki urges lower tensions over North Korea 7 days ago
September 13, 2017 8:47 PMTOKYO (REUTERS) - The standoff over North Korea could lead to "nuclear war", a Japanese pro-wrestler turned lawmaker warned on Wednesday (Sept 13), urging nations to dial down the tension after the isolated country fired a missil
Surging gasoline prices boost US producer inflation -World News
Surging gasoline prices boost US producer inflation 7 days ago
U.S. producer prices rebounded in August, driven by a surge in the cost of gasoline, and there were also signs of a pickup in underlying producer inflation.
Saudis urged to report on each other's social media activity -World News
Saudis urged to report on each other's social media activity 7 days ago
REUTERS: Saudi Arabia is urging people to report subversive social media activity via a phone app, part of an apparent crackdown on potential government critics before demonstrations called for by exiled opposition figures. A message sent on a Twitter ac
EU set to demand Internet firms act faster to remove illegal content -World News
EU set to demand Internet firms act faster to remove illegal content 7 days ago
Companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter could face European Union laws forcing them to be more proactive in removing illegal content if they do not do more to police what is available on the Internet.
Comcast to launch new platform in push for business customers -World News
Comcast to launch new platform in push for business customers 7 days ago
Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable provider, on Wednesday launched a new business application and platform with faster connections in its push to boost sales to commercial customers as more consumers drop traditional cable services. Comcast, like other
Motorcycling - Silverstone and Donington bidding for British MotoGP slot -World News
Motorcycling - Silverstone and Donington bidding for British MotoGP slot 7 days ago
Silverstone's future as a venue for MotoGP, as well as Formula One, looks uncertain after a draft calendar published on Wednesday had no circuit listed for next year's British motorcycle grand prix.
Brazil police detain JBS CEO Batista on suspicion of insider trading -World News
Brazil police detain JBS CEO Batista on suspicion of insider trading 7 days ago
Brazil's federal police detained JBS SA Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista on Wednesday, as an investigation escalated into the role played by him and his younger brother in suspected insider trading ahead of a plea bargain deal with prosecutors.
Beyoncé Addresses Racism, Violence And Climate Change In Hurricane Benefit Speech -World News
Beyoncé Addresses Racism, Violence And Climate Change In Hurricane Benefit Speech 7 days ago
'The effects of climate change are playing out around the world every day.'
Watch: How To Skip The Really Long Line At The Eiffel Tower -World News
Watch: How To Skip The Really Long Line At The Eiffel Tower 7 days ago
Traveling to Paris? The wait to get into the Eiffel Tower can last hours, but here's a few tips on how to skip the lengthy line. Did you know the Eiffel Tower has two restaurants? The 58 Tour Eiffel and the Le Jules Verne.
How To Protect Yourself From 419 Fraud: The Online Scam Targeting Small Businesses -World News
How To Protect Yourself From 419 Fraud: The Online Scam Targeting Small Businesses 7 days ago
Fraudsters today have evolved and perpetrate much more sophisticated and plausible stories against legitimate online businesses that often operate through online marketplaces.
HP Launches New Elite 1000 Series Lineup to Boost Workplace Portfolio -World News
HP Launches New Elite 1000 Series Lineup to Boost Workplace Portfolio 7 days ago
The new line-up includes the HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 convertible, the HP EliteBook 1040 G4 notebook, and HP EliteOne 1000 AIO.