Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about the production and trade of arms around the world.
Earlier this year, a ship from North Korea laden with 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades was seized off the coast of Egypt. The United Nations called it the “largest seizure of ammunition in the history of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” In an email interview, Andrew C. Winner, chair of the Strategic and Operational Research Department and a professor of strategic studies at the Naval War College, discusses the nature of North Korea’s arms industry and efforts to curb the sale of North Korean weapons amid international sanctions against Pyongyang. The views expressed here are his own and do not represent the views or policies of the Naval War College, the U.S. Navy or the Department of Defense.
WPR: How did North Korea develop into a manufacturer and seller of illicit arms, and who are its largest partners in this trade?