History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Saturday, May 15, 2004

    The Syrian Connection

    Charles at LGF has linked to a fascinating bit of news . Apparently a number of "Syrian Technicians" were killed in the large train blast in North Korea not too long ago. An excerpt:

    A military source familiar with Korean Peninsula
    affairs revealed on 6 May that Syrian technicians were
    killed in a train explosion incident that occurred on
    22 April in Yongch'on in the northwestern part of the
    DPRK and that the damage was especially serious in
    that section of the train where the Syrians were
    aboard, along with large equipment. The same source
    noted that although the contents of the equipment are
    unknown, DPRK military-related personnel wearing
    protective suits arrived on the scene immediately
    after the explosion and removed debris only from that
    section of the train where the Syrian group had been
    aboard. Consequently, there is a strong likelihood
    that the accident occurred when military materials
    were being secretly transported between the DPRK and

    According to the same source, the technicians aboard
    the train had been sent from the Syrian technical
    research center called Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche
    Scientific (CERS). Although CERS was established to
    promote science and technology development, it is
    suspected of playing a major role in Syria's weapons
    of mass destruction development program.

    The word "suspicious" does not even begin to describe this. As I noted on LGF, the presence of Syrian Technicians indicates that some kind of technology or arms transfer was taking place. North Korea is the biggest proliferator of missile technology in the world, and so it wouldn't be surprising if missile parts were being transported, perhaps to China first, and then to Syria. Or, perhaps even more sinister, Chemical weapons components or equipment might have been transferred, as indicated by the role that CERS plays in this little episode. Speculation at this point wouldn't accomplish much, so I will wait and see if anything else turns up about this.

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