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North Korea’s other benefactor

Neither side will ever admit it, but North Korea has another friend in Asia other than China: Last year India exported roughly $1 billion to North Korea, up from an average of barely $100 million in the middle of the past decade, reports the Confederation of Indian Industry, a trade organization — most of that ...

photohome_uk / Flickr.com
photohome_uk / Flickr.com

Neither side will ever admit it, but North Korea has another friend in Asia other than China:

Last year India exported roughly $1 billion to North Korea, up from an average of barely $100 million in the middle of the past decade, reports the Confederation of Indian Industry, a trade organization — most of that in refined petroleum products. The trade group says that North Korea’s exports to India were a minuscule $57 million, including silver and auto parts. (South Korean trade figures suggest India’s exports are much lower.) […]

Perhaps a little more attention is in order since India is selling more than mere oil to North Korea. Last year, according to Indian trade data, India also exported $2 million in goods in a category called "nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances" — most likely water pumps, computer data storage units, ball bearings and machine tools. Could they be used to maintain a nuke plant in some way? Maybe.

I’m more than a little skeptical that New Delhi would try to pass potentially dangerous nuclear equipment to Pyongyang on the open market. It’s entirely possible India’s goods could be repurposed in some way, but what does India have to gain from a nuclear North? Or is all of this just a distraction ahead of the coming armageddon?

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