could potentially produce highly enriched uranium for yet more. At the same time, North Korea has engaged on an extensive missile development programme, based on original designs from the Soviet Union. During the 1990s, North Korea steadily increased the range and payload of these missiles and in 1998 it test fired a three-stage rocket on a trajectory which took it over Japan. While this could not deliver a nuclear warhead beyond a medium range, North Korea is now thought to be developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons as far away as the continental United States and Europe.
WHAT WAS KNOWN
North Korea is a particular cause for concern because of its willingness to sell ballistic missiles to anyone prepared to pay in hard currency. While the sale of the missiles themselves is not illegal, providing them to countries which are or may be developing nuclear weapons increases the global threat from such weapons. For this reason, tracking North Korea’s role as a supplier of missile systems has been a top priority for the intelligence community since 1991.
We examined the JIC assessments and relevant intelligence reports from that date until 2003, and heard evidence from witnesses engaged in collecting intelligence on this subject. The picture that emerged was of a state-controlled, self-sustaining missile industry, which was able to fund further development by channelling profits from exports back into the programme. While the Middle East has been the main destination for North Korean missiles, we saw evidence of North Korean interest in sales on a global scale.
The JIC first noted in an assessment of February 1992 that North Korea had emerged as a major exporter of missiles and that it was also prepared to sell missile production technology. The sale of technology, while lucrative on a short-term basis, closed off options for future sales but, on a wider perspective, fuelled the cycle of onward proliferation, as North Korea’s customers became producers themselves and developed their own export programmes.
Throughout the 1990s, the JIC followed details of North Korean missile sales to third world countries. It noted that, in addition to Scud B and C, which had been sold with production technology for local manufacture, North Korea had also offered the No Dong 1, a longer range version of the Scud, to foreign purchasers. By 2001, the JIC was noting that North Korea was also prepared to offer Taepo Dong missiles with an assessed range of up to 15,000 km. In its most recent assessment of 2003, the JIC assessed that North Korea was continuing its export programme, seeking new customers and offering upgrades to existing customers.
Intelligence has fed into the work of the Restricted Enforcement Unit, departmental organisation in the UK working to prevent the export of sensitive to North Korea and other countries of concern.
an inter- materials
Apart from interdictions, which were the result of specific leads from intelligence, photographs of the Pakistani Ghauri missiles show that they are almost identical to the No