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Memorandum from members of Congress, February 21, 2008, regarding H.R. 3650, North Korean Counterterrorism and Nonproliferation Act (2 pages)



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February 21, 2008 Stop North Korea from Providing Submarines to Iran: Co-sponsor H.R. 3650 Dear Colleague, The attached article, recently published by the Tokyo newspaper Sankei Shimbun, indicates that North Korea plans to offer small submarines as security for hundreds of millions in debt it owes to Iran, another known state sponsor of terror. The submarines, capable of launching missiles, could increase the danger Iran's navy and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps pose to the U.S. in the strategically vital Straits of Hormuz. Moreover, this transfer could violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 1747, which calls on "all states to exercise vigilance and restraint in the supply, sale or transfer. ..of any battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile Cooperation between North Korea and Iran?to the detriment of our national security interests?is nothing new. Iranian officials were present at long and short-range missile tests performed by North Korea in July 2006. North Korea has helped train Hezbollah, a terrorist proxy of Iran and Syria, in guerrilla warfare. Recent and ongoing reports indicate that Iran may be providing missile and nuclear capabilities to Syria as well. To address the threat North Korea's collaboration with other state sponsors of terror poses, we have introduced H.R. 3650, the North Korean Counterterrorism and Nonproliferation Act. This bill calls for continuing sanctions against the North Korean regime until the President certifies to Congress that North Korea: ? is no longer engaged in the illegal transfer of missile or nuclear technology to governments that support acts of international terrorism; ? is no longer engaged in training, harboring, supplying, financing, or supporting in any way terrorist organizations; ? is no longer engaged in counterfeiting U.S. currency; ? has made inoperable Bureau No. 39 of the North Korean Workers Party, which is responsible for laundering illicit funds obtained by narcotics trafficking and other criminal activities; ? has released Kim Dong-Shik of the United States; ? has released the 15 Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea; ? has released the 600 surviving South Korean POWs; and ? is no longer engaged in terrorist activities. Iran." Japan: Sources Say DPRK Offers Submarines to Iran as Security for Debt Tokyo Sankei Shimbun (Translated by the Open Source Center) January 18, 2008 [By Takashi Arimoto in Washington: "Submarine To Iran? North Korea Is Negotiating To Repay Hundreds of Million Dollars"] Washington ? As Iran demands repayment of debts amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, North Korea is negotiating with Iran to offer small submarines as security for the debts, an informed source familiar with the Korean Peninsula situation disclosed on 16 January. According to sources, Iran is urging North Korea to improve the operational performance of the submarines, in addition to providing North Korean small submarines [to Iran]. As to the reason for Iran's beefmg up its naval power, the sources said, "Perhaps, Iran needs to improve the performance of the submarines for the purpose of tightening security" given the intensifying tensions in the Strait of Hormuz. The negotiations between the two countries were held in a third country in February and July of last year. The negotiations in February were held between high-ranking officials while the July talks were between senior officials from the military industry, the sources said. The February negotiations were held soon after six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear development issue. The sources said, "Iran is probably concerned that in case there is progress in the six-party talks, North Korea may be forced to stop the dissemination of arms, including weapons of mass destruction and the curtailment of the arms supply may affect debt repayment." According to Reuters, when North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong II [Kim Yo'ng-il] visited Iran in May of last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki said, "To further deepen cooperative relations between the two countries, it is necessary to remove some obstacles." Thus, Mottaki referred to the importance of settling the debt issue. However, the details of the debt have not been disclosed. After a series of negotiations, North Korean Foreign Trade Minister Rim Kyong Man [Rim Kyo'ng-man] visited Iran last August. He had talks with Oil Minister [Kazem] Vaziri-Hamaneh, and high-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guards officials. According to the source, North Korea promised to provide small submarines capable of launching missiles and cooperate in improving the performance of the submarine it supplied in 2007. It is unclear when the submarines will be provided, the sources said. It is observed that North Korea possesses about 50 small submarines. The US Government has expressed concern about cooperative relations between North Korea and Iran, saying, "They have a history of cooperation in the transfer of missile development technology in other areas at various stages" (in the words of State Department Spokesman McCormack).