UAE helped North Korea by The Virginian


United Arab Emirates appears to have helped North Korea’s ballistic missile program through large arms purchases from the pariah state in violation of the U.S. and United Nations Security Council’s embargo, according to a secret State Department memo by the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

In the memo, the State Department warns the U.A.E. that the money spent to purchase of North Korean arms goes to fund its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs. “North Korea relies on revenue from overseas arms sales like this to sustain and advance its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs, which pose a threat to international peace and security as well as a direct threat to the United States,” the memo said.

That companies (see International Golden Group at , they are mentioned in the alleged memo) based in the UAE have purchased weapons from North Korea is, if accurate, not necessarily surprising. Companies in the Emirates have previously acted as an intermediary for weapons (and cash) transfer between states, while the UAE has in the last decade or so sought to develop small arms plus more advanced weapons – including drones – in country, though not always from scratch (i.e. final assembly of parts made elsewhere). In previous year’s banks in Dubai were sanctioned for involvement in terrorist financing, while annual weapons shows and conventions bringing to Abu Dhabi (and the Dubai Air Show) a mix of would be sellers and buyers from across the world.
Given the Emirates ability to procure US, European, Russian and Chinese arms the need to go to North Korea (or others) is unneeded for equipping the UAE military, unless done for some unique capability. This seems likely to be a pass through to a third party in return for a percentage of the transaction value. The procurement of weapons would not go unnoticed by the Emirati government, and would have required official sanction with ruling family connections – even more so if any were destined for use inside the UAE.
At a minimum this type of action by a company based in a regional ally deserves further scrutiny to first assess validity, and if true, action that results in cessation of such activity going forward and appropriate punishment being handed out against the company and its management.

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17 Responses to UAE helped North Korea by The Virginian

  1. John_Frank says:

    With respect, is this recycled news? In case people missed it, on March 24, the State Department announced:
    Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act Sanctions

    On March 21, the United States imposed sanctions on 30 foreign entities and individuals in 10 countries pursuant to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA). These sanctions apply to the specific individuals and entities which will be listed in the federal register and will be in effect for two years. The sanctions do not apply to these individuals and entities’ respective countries or governments. These sanctions exemplify the U.S. government’s continued commitment to Nonproliferation and the promotion of global stability and security.
    As part of the March 21 sanctions, a group of eleven entities and individuals were sanctioned for transfers of sensitive items to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Iran’s proliferation of missile technology significantly contributes to regional tensions. As an example, we have seen indications Iran is providing missile support to the Houthis in Yemen. This destabilizing activity only serves to escalate regional conflicts further and poses a significant threat to regional security. We will continue to take steps to address Iran’s missile development and production and sanction entities and individuals involved in supporting these programs under U.S. law. The imposition of sanctions against these eleven foreign entities is a continuation of our commitment to hold Iran accountable for its actions.
    The eleven entities sanctioned under the INKSNA on March 21 specifically for transfers to Iran’s missile program are:
    Beijing Zhong Ke Electric Co. Ltd. (ZKEC) (China)
    Dalian Zenghua Maoyi Youxian Gongsi (China)
    Jack Qin (Chinese individual)
    Jack Wang (Chinese individual)
    Karl Lee [aka Li Fangwei] (Chinese individual)
    Ningbo New Century Import and Export Company Limited (China)
    Shenzhen Yataida High-Tech Company Ltd (China)
    Sinotech (Dalian) Carbon and Graphite Corporation (SCGC) (China)
    Sky Rise Technology [aka Reekay Technology Limited] (China)
    Saeng Pil Trading Corporation (SPTC) (North Korea)
    Mabrooka Trading (United Arab Emirates).
    An additional 19 foreign entities and individuals were sanctioned under INKSNA on March 21 for other violations. These entities and individuals were sanctioned as a result of a determination that there was credible information indicating they had transferred to, or acquired from, Iran, North Korea, or Syria goods, services, or technology listed on multilateral export control lists; or on U.S. national control lists, or other items that could make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or missile proliferation. These determinations were the result of a periodic review of sanctionable activity as required by the INKSNA. These determinations underscore that the United States continues to regularly impose sanctions under existing authorities, as warranted, against entities and individuals that engage in proliferation activity with Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
    The following restrictions will go into effect on the sanctioned individuals and entities effective March 21.
    No department or agency of the U.S. Government may procure or contract for any goods, services, or technology from the designated entities, except to the extent the Secretary of State otherwise may determine;
    The designated entities are ineligible for any assistance program of the U.S. Government, except to the extent the Secretary of State otherwise may determine;
    S. Government sales of any item on the U.S. Munitions List to these entities are prohibited, and sales of any defense articles, defense services, or design and construction services controlled under the Arms Export Control Act are terminated; and
    New licenses will be denied, and any existing licenses suspended, for transfers of export- controlled items.

    The applicable notices under the Federal Register can be found at:
    Imposition of Nonproliferation Measures Against Rosoboronexport, Including a Ban on U.S. Government Procurement
    – and –
    Imposition of Nonproliferation Measures Against Foreign Persons, Including a Ban on U.S. Government Procurement
    The second notice includes the listing of “Mabrooka Trading (United Arab Emirates) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof.”
    According to that register notice:
    1. “Madar Yara Medical Company (Saudi Arabia) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” and,
    2. “Special Defense Research Center (SDRC) (Egypt) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof.”
    are also listed as sanctioned entities.
    In the circumstances, the writer is obliged to ask, is the referenced memo accurate, or just part of a smear campaign?
    A google search for Al Mutlaq Trading shows that entity is part of the Almutlaq Group which is based in Saudi Arabia. In conducting the search use the key words Al+Mutlaq+Trading.
    Two websites come up:
    Even if the posted memo is accurate, given the date, was appropriate action taken, so that no further steps were required and it was not necessary to sanction Al Mutlaq Trading?

  2. b says:

    How high is the probability that arms procured by Gulf countries from North Korea were trafficked by the CIA towards “moderate” headchoppers in Syria and elsewhere?
    80% or higher?

  3. I think it quite likely that the USA will be politely told to “Mind your own business”
    And the sanctioned entities will form a monolith in opposition to these sanctions.
    What is the US going to do?? Invade the UAE???
    What if the UAE evicts the brit MSOs from their naval base there?? Invite the Chinese to
    open a base there?? Make up with the Iranians????
    Most probably sooner, much sooner, the US will find itself labeled the pariah…
    The Russians and Chinese have basically told the US to pack up and go home….
    I believe they have finally realized the usefulness of the DPRK as a “loose cannon” proxy. The Houthis likewise….

  4. confusedponderer says:

    “How high is the probability that arms procured by Gulf countries from North Korea were trafficked by the CIA towards “moderate” headchoppers in Syria and elsewhere?”
    If that would be true then … murderous Norko nutters were cooperating with murderous Isis nutters, and all that happened with the help of totally well-meaning western and/or gulfie intelligence sevices, just incidentally keen on generating regime changes?
    If it does sound crazy, I’d say it would be rather normal in the middle east where the Saudis, of all people, have the nerve of accusing anyone else of cooperating with terrorists. Just not Saudis, they’re all green saints.
    That said, the cholera Saudi’s war of choice in Yemen, err, war of regime change, err, war of liberation, has brought, perhaps as an ununderstood generous gift to those ungrateful Yemenis, has so far some 320 000 suspected cases. It’ll become more.
    Not absurd enough? It gets all the funnier with UAE geniusses who just pronounced that it was, of course, Qatar who had helped terrorists to … do the 9/11 attack.
    Of course. Never mind the nasty Saudi passports that some 2/3 of the terrorists had who did it, or saudi money flows to various jihadi nutters.
    Anyway, that’s all distracting details, there’s nothing to see, move on … and probably it’s just a sign of just how … cunning and devious the Quataris are. Oh yes, and the Iranians. Very cunning and very devious.
    In absurdland like that reality doesn’t matter. Narratives – however dumb, false or duplitious – are all that’s left.
    If reality sucks, and actions stink, getting away with doing it anyway, even if it needs distraction or a lot of brazen lies, is all that’s left to count. Likely, we’ll get more of that crap.

  5. paul says:

    the nice thing about autocratic states is you just have to put the current head of state on a plane, and tell his much more pliable brother that he is the new king and if he wants to stay that way he had better play ball, this is the way succession has worked in the gulf monarchies since the western powers took over.

  6. kooshy says:

    Looks like for now US has given up on regime change and dividing up Syria
    “US tells local Syrian allies they must only fight ISIS and not Assad, prompting exit of allied group

  7. kooshy says:

    Very well written emotional article by Robert Fisk about the Syrian Arab Army, I agree with him that they (SAA) are the future of Syria. It was Iran Iraq war that out of IRGC produced the future (today) Iran politicians and political class.
    The Syrian army were standing up to Isis long before the Americans ever fired a missile

  8. A.Pols says:

    It’s probably true that almost all countries in the world are unconcerned with North Korea, except for the United States and a select few U.S. satraps. Sure enough it’s true that North Korea is a “Cage aux Folles”, but since they are only a burr under our saddle, who else really cares?
    It’s frustrating for a country like ours to spend so much time and energy trying to control the trade activities of every other country on earth and it seems so natural that others don’t give a damn for what we want, that I’m always surprised at the tone of official statements which sound so full of the sense of betrayal. Remember y’all, a man known to us all said recently that “analysis isn’t advocacy” or something very close to that…

  9. b says:

    This was a local group, tribal Arabs, with family in the area.
    The U.S. wanted to lift them to a base in the north-east, put them under Kurdish command to proceed to Deir Ezzor from there. Those folks did not want to go to the north-east and they did not want to fight under the much hated Kurds. Indeed the Kurds hate them equally so and would have used them as cannon fodder.
    Tanf is done. The U.S. will have to leave.

  10. turcopolier says:

    I see that Colonel (Ret.) Derek Harvey wa fired from the NSC staff today. That can only be an improvement. I remember him as a captain who haunted my Pentagon office. He was always a fraud. He was in charge of Syria. pl

  11. ToivoS says:

    Perhaps it is recycled news but the timing of this current release is important. My guess it is a signal to the wayward Gulf emirates that the US (or some agents in the US govt) is not happy with their aggressive declarations against Qatar. Similar to the leak that the UAE was responsible for the hacking the Qatar news agency as reported by the WaPo recently (

  12. turcopolier says:

    A. Pols
    Are you really dumb enough to think that the North Korea thing is about trade? pl

  13. A. Pols says:

    No, I am not that dumb and I don’t think it’s about trade. But I do think it’s about other entities pursuing their own interests without regard for ours and I don’t see why we should find that surprising. We may find it unpleasant, but that’s just our point of view, not the world’s. I don’t necessarily want you to post this reply; it is mainly FYEO. It is is your blog after all, but I’m not a dumb person and I felt I should reply.
    I think of myself as a student in the classic sense because I am not a careerist in foreign affairs, just an interested observer who reads a lot and tries to inform himself and I do respect and admire you for your seasoned viewpoint…

  14. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen – all in various degrees and in different forms being Partisans of Ali.
    The Syrian War, in my opinion, was the last nail put in the coffin of Enlightenment-inspired Modernity in the Middle East; it breathed new life into an ancient and dormant antipathy from which there could be no escape.
    I think in the coming years and decades you will see how negatively that war will influence inter-state relations in the World of Islam; nothing positive – that is for certain.

  15. LindaL says:

    Derek was always a strange person in addition to the rest. Or probably it all fits together.

  16. turcopolier says:

    He seems to have had a rich fantasy life and let it become his past. pl

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