After monitoring shady Syrian and North Korean dealings with regard to nuclear materials, the Israelis carried out an air strike called Operation Orchard. This strike against a facility in the Syrian desert was the culmination of several years of North Korean nuclear and missile dealings and negotiations with Southeast Asian (Iran and Pakistan), Middle Eastern (Iraq and Syria) and North African (Libya under Gaddafi) regimes. Only a few years before, in December 2003, a non-proliferation victory was declared when Colonel Gaddafi surrendered his stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons had been acquired from North Korea through the Pakistani AQ Khan network.
Of course, this is all standard elementary knowledge. What is of interest to me is how we got to where we are now, namely the missile proliferation and shady nuclear dealings between the aforementioned regimes and the ruling regime in Pyongyang. There was one instance in 1993 when the Israeli government seemingly showed signs of making an overture to North Korea by investing in that pariah state’s floundering economy in turn for its cessation of providing states like Iran with missiles.
The Israeli deal seemed to hint at investing some $1 billion into the North Korean economy. One assumes that such investment would have probably taken the form of hard capital along with much-needed agricultural methods and supplies.
As we know, due to the opposition of the United States, the deal was never introduced and never put into fruition. North Korean and US tensions increased in 1994 as a result of the former’s attempt to withdraw from the non-proliferation treaty and pursue the construction of a bomb. Not long after that the ‘Great Leader’ Kim il Sung passed away, his son succeeded him and the country as a whole became more militant as it became more impoverished. The economy went to hell and a famine in the late 1990′s saw to 2 million North Koreans dying from starvation. The new regime of Kim Jong il would also see to the North Korean state building a handful of nuclear weapons, as well as several missiles — which were supplied to both Iran and Pakistan.
If the United States hadn’t opposed the deal, one could speculate about how things could have turned out differently. For one, had Israel invested in 1993 and agreed to recognize the regime in Pyongyang, they could have had a formal deal to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program before it properly got off the ground. This may have lessened, to the point of elimination, the tensions between the US and North Korea the year after. On top of all that, the introduction of an agricultural system – one of Israel’s specialties – may have saved a great deal of North Koreans from the harsh famine years. It’s important to note that the stunted brainwashed people of North Korea were reportedly more hostile towards the west during said famine years, as they blamed the west for the famine rather than their aggressive regime.
This lost opportunity was unfortunate, however it does aptly demonstrate Israel’s potential to, in a positive manner, influence and, shape situations on the grounds of countries far from its borders.
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