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North Korea emerges as one of the world’s biggest illicit exporters of small arms, alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran


Despite increased transparency among the 55 per cent of nations who trade in small arms, the US$6 billion market remains a murky industry in which weapons find their way into the hands of terrorists or are used by states to carry out human rights abuses, according to the Small Arms Survey Trade Update 2017.

Where nations are secretive, evidence is garnered from reports of weapons seizures, including huge hauls from North Korea and Iran.

In August last year a North Korean vessel was intercepted in Egypt. On board, hidden beneath 2,300 tonnes of iron ore, were 30,000 PG-7 rocket-propelled grenades and their sub components. Suspected North Korean exports of small arms worth US$18 million and destined for Iran were also intercepted on a plane in Thailand in 2009. – READ MORE


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