World Media

Mattis downplays Trump, Tillerson discord on North Korea

Mattis downplays Trump, Tillerson discord on North Korea

"Japan is no longer needed to exist near us", said the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which administers North Korea's external affairs, in mid-September.

Once the ship entered Egyptian waters, customs agents boarded and discovered a stockpile of more than 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades worth $23 million concealed underneath bins of iron ore.

In a statement, it said the shipment was not meant to be sent to Egypt, denying a report by US newspaper the Washington Post which described "a mysterious vessel steaming toward the Suez Canal". Anonymous officials told the Washington Post that the incident was one of the reasons the Trump administration cut and delayed hundreds of millions of dollars in Egyptian military aid in August.

The rounds themselves were a practice round typically used for training, The Post reported.

Defense Secretary Mattis was speaking two days after President Donald Trump appeared to undermine his top diplomat by saying Tillerson was "wasting his time" by maintaining contacts with Kim Jong-Un's regime. Because that was better than letting Egypt keep those weapons.

Beyond North Korea's limited amount of permissible worldwide trade, which has become even slimmer following increased United Nations sanctions, the country remains heavily invested in illicit trade, including narcotics, counterfeit currencies, and cheap weapons.

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The ship was registered in Cambodia and flew a Cambodian flag, in an apparent attempt to avoid unwanted scrutiny. Russian Federation and China do not really supply such old-fashioned hardware anymore, so North Korea has cornered the market.

"Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now?" When Egypt went to war against Israel in 1973, the senior Egyptian air force commander was able to enlist some North Korean pilots for the effort.

The Egyptians, in turn, helped to build the only 3G mobile phone network in North Korea. "North Korea policy is a world of least-bad options". He insisted his investments in North Korea had nothing to do with his criticism.

"Egyptian authorities confiscated and destroyed the shipment in the presence of a team of experts from the 1718 committee overseeing the UNSC sanctions on North Korea", Abu-Zeid told AFP. "The South Korean puppets are deepening the disruption of the North-South relations and further escalating the danger of a nuclear war".

What began with United States intelligence spotting a rusty cargo vessel heading into the Suez Canal and alerted Egypt that its origin was North Korea, ended with the ship being seized, searched and its cargo - called the "largest seizure of ammunition headed for Pyongyang" by the UN - confiscated.


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