- WASHINGTON (UPI) - Russia
is selling missile technology and components to North Korea and nuclear
weapons components to Iran, The Washington Times reported in Friday's edition.
Reports of the deals were outlined in sensitive intelligence reports sent
earlier this month to senior policymakers, U.S. intelligence officials
told the paper.
- According to the officials, a recent report from the
National Security Agency, which conducts electronic eavesdropping, stated
that missile component companies in Russia and Uzbekistan were cooperating
on the sale of missile parts to North Korea.
- Disclosure of Russia's latest missile-proliferation activities
comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a plan for a pan-European
missile defense shield to complement a U.S. system opposed by Moscow.
- "This intelligence shows the Russians are playing
both sides of the fence," an intelligence official told the Times.
"They are talking missile defense while helping boost the missile
- As to the nuclear exports to Iran, another NSA report
said that Russia is sending tritium gas to a nuclear weapons research center
- Tritium is a radioactive gas -- an isotope of hydrogen.
Its primary use is to enhance the explosive power of nuclear warheads.
- Robert Barker, a nuclear weapons specialist, told the
Times that tritium has some applications other than its use in nuclear
weapons, "but the well-known utilization of tritium is for enhancing
the performance of nuclear weapons."
- "This is an issue of concern and one would expect
Iran to be very forthcoming in providing assurances about what it is being
used for," he said.
- A Senate aide who specializes in weapons proliferation
told the paper the reports show Russian weapons proliferation continues
to be a danger.
- "This is one more example of the Russian government's
failure to control missile technology and nuclear exports," he said.
"Whether the government is incapable or uninterested in controlling
its borders is immaterial." --
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