North Korea-Syria Contacts Viewed by Open Source Center

05.21.08 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Intergovernmental contacts between North Korean and Syrian officials during the last two years were scrutinized by the DNI Open Source Center (pdf), but even in retrospect the available record presents no indication of joint work on a secret nuclear facility destroyed by Israel last September (large pdf).

“A review of available North Korean and Syrian print and online media in the period 2005-2007 has yielded the names of dozens of DPRK and Syrian officials involved in military, scientific, trade, and other aspects of bilateral relations,” the OSC analysis said.

However, “no obvious indications of covert military cooperation surfaced in the highly-censored media of North Korea or Syria in this period.”

In other words, assuming the allegations of clandestine nuclear cooperation are true, open source intelligence provided no clues concerning the activity.

Like most other OSC products, the new analysis has not been approved for public release. But a copy was obtained independently by Secrecy News. See “DPRK-Syria Bilateral Contacts, 2005-2007,” Open Source Center, May 2, 2008.