U.S. confirms presence of North Korean nuclear experts in Syria
""Syria was on the U.S. nuclear watch list," a senior U.S. official said Friday, asserting that foreign technicians were in the country and that there had been possible contacts with suppliers for nuclear equipment.
Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary for nuclear nonproliferation policy, didn't name the suppliers, but said there were North Koreans in Syria and that he couldn't exclude that the network run by disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan was possibly involved.
Semmel was responding to questions about an alleged Israel Air Force airstrike in northern Syria last week. Neither side has explained what exactly happened, but a U.S. government official confirmed that Israeli warplanes were targeting weapons from Iran and destined for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
"There are indicators that they do have something going on there, he said," Semmel said. "We do know that there are a number of foreign technicians that have been in Syria. We do know that there may have been contact between Syria and some secret suppliers for nuclear equipment. Whether anything transpired remains to be seen."
"So good foreign policy, good national security policy, would suggest that we pay very close attention to that, he said. We're watching very closely. Obviously, the Israelis We're watching very closely," he added.
Asked if the suppliers could have been North Koreans, he said: "There are North Korean people there. There's no question about that. Just as there are a lot of North Koreans in Iraq and Iran."...."