North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa
Enabling Violence and Instability
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
North Korea has posed a threat to stability in Northeast Asia for decades. Since Kim Jong-un assumed power, this threat has both increased and broadened. Since 2011, the small, isolated nation has detonated nuclear weapons multiple times, tested a wide variety of ballistic missiles, expanded naval and ground systems that threaten South Korea, and routinely employs hostile rhetoric. Another threat it poses has been less recognized: North Korea presents a potentially greater risk to American interests by exporting its weapons systems to other volatile regions worldwide.
In North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa, Bruce E. Bechtol Jr. analyzes relevant North Korean military capabilities, what arms the nation provides, and to whom, how it skirts its sanctions, and how North Korea's activities can best be contained. He traces illicit networks that lead to state and nonstate actors in the Middle East, including Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas, and throughout Africa, including at least a dozen nations. The potential proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons technology and the vehicles that carry it, including ballistic missiles and artillery, represent a broader threat than the leadership in Pyongyang. Including training and infrastructure support, North Korea's profits may range into the billions of dollars, all concealed in illicit networks and front companies so complex that the nation struggles to track and control them. Bechtol not only presents an accurate picture of the current North Korean threat -- he also outlines methodologies that Washington and the international community must embrace in order to contain it.
Understanding the Product: North Korea's Military Capabilities
How Do They Do It? North Korea's Illicit Financial Networks and Proliferation Modus Operandi
North Korea and Military Proliferation to Iran: Pyongyang's Most Important Customer
North Korea and Syria: A Long and Ongoing History of Military Trade
North Korean Proliferation on the African Continent
Conclusions and Policy Implications
"This book answers urgent calls for clear thinking and balanced analysis on the topic of North Korea's expansive activities in two vital regions of the globe. Written in a compelling style and using the most up-to-date sources, Bechtol has made a significant contribution to understandings of how this rogue state has become a global menace. This book belongs on the bookshelves of anyone interested in learning more about the shadowy actions of this increasingly dangerous regime." -- Paul Kan, US Army War College
"Bruce Bechtol reveals the lesser known dimensions of the North Korean threat. This book illuminates the complexities of the global challenge posed by the most infamous rogue state of the early twenty-first century." -- Andrew Scobell, author of North Korea's Military Threat: Pyongyang's Conventional Forces, Weapons of Mass Destruction, And Ballistic Missiles
"Bruce Bechtol's impressively thorough research, analysis and foresight are no surprise to experts and students of the Asia Pacific alike. North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa sheds light on an entirely new dimension of the security threats posed by North Korea. The criminality of the Kim regime goes beyond its threatening the Asia Pacific region and the world with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles or brutalizing its own people. Through scrupulous investigation and sharp analysis, Bechtol proves that the Kim regime illicitly proliferates tools of death ranging from small arms to ballistic missiles and WMDs to rogue actors and regimes in the Middle East and Africa. Through its criminal proliferation, North Korea jeopardizes security in one of the world's most volatile regions and destroys the lives of countless millions." -- Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
"Dr. Bechtol has written a deeply researched treatise on the roots, extent, and threats posed by the DPRK's ongoing sales of conventional weapons, ballistic missile and WMD systems and technology; active collaboration in ballistic missile and possibly nuclear weapons research and development; and active support of the production and use of chemical weapons in this greatly troubled part of the world. It is essential reading for those concerned with events in the Middle East, Africa, or the DPRK itself." -- William Newcomb, former member of the United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts on DPRK Sanctions
"Observers of North Korea and other pundits have long complained about the dearth of detailed information on North Korea. While admittedly there is no great wealth of open source material on the Pyongyang regime, a substantial amount of data is available to those willing to look for it. Bruce E. Bechtol Jr.'s book North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa is a strong case in point.
Bechtol's sources include North Korean defectors, fellow scholars, open source intelligence reports, and field interviews conducted in the Middle East and Africa. Relying upon old-fashioned research and personal conversations, Bechtol has put together a remarkable work that brings to the fore a number of disturbing details amply illustrating that there is indeed relevant information out there -- if one makes the effort to find it." -- H-Diplo
"Given today's political urgency, a clear-eyed, comprehensive look at North Korea's military capabilities and its long-standing and wide-ranging proliferation couldn't be more timely and it is offered by retiredMarine, author and political science professor, Bruce Bechtol. His book uses open-source intelligence reports, defectors' testimony, field interviews and the work of fellow experts, to quantify the full extent of North Korea's military capabilities and what it will take to stop the regime's illicit activities. North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa provides a comprehensive picture of this rogue regime, the breadth of its illicit activities and its threat to global stability." -- American Thinker
"Bechtol's newest book expertly and clearly explains how North Korea provides nuclear, chemical, and missile technologies, and conventional weapons, as well as how it finances such dangerous transactions through complex financial networks, earning the rogue nation billions of dollars. He also details North Korea's relationships with its best customers -- Iran, Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt." -- Military Officers Association of America
"Strong in outlining the basics of North Korean arms sales and proliferation to the Middle East and Africa, Bechtol's study is recommended for anyone seeking a better understanding of the DPRK's pernicious international role." -- Joel Campbell, International Affairs
- James B. Palais Prize