North Korea attempted to sell ballistic missiles with a range of 3,500 kilometers to a British arms dealer, an Internet media outlet based in the United States said Thursday.
NK News, which specializes in providing North Korea-related information to the general public, said a recent United Nations report revealed the communist country's Haesong Trading Corp. allegedly made an offer to sell a wide range of weapons systems, including intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBM), to an arms dealer. It did not elaborate on when the offer was made.
The media source said the company asked for more than US$100 million per unit for the IRBMs. It added that while the North reportedly sold shorter range missiles modified from older SCUD rockets to some Middle East countries, this is the first time it tried offering a longer range delivery system.
On the missile offered for sale, the Internet outlet speculated it was probably the Musudan missile that first made a public appearance in October 2010.
Musudan has never been test fired although the North may have considered such a move earlier in the year, when tensions were running high on the Korean Peninsula. The missile is based on Soviet-era sub-launched ballistic missiles and can reach the U.S. territory of Guam if launched from the east coast of North Korea,
Related to the offer made by the North, NK News said some experts believed Pyongyang probably proposed the sale to check the reaction of the arms dealer.
They pointed out that with the international community maintaining tight control over all shipments entering and leaving the country, it would have been impossible for the North to export the missiles even if an agreement was reached. (Yonhap News)