Washington Times saysSo San got chemicals [Archives:2003/624/Local News]

February 24 2003


The North Korean ship that transported Scud missiles to Yemen last year was also used to carry chemical weapons material to Korea, it was reported yesterday.
The Sosan delivered several tonnes of sodium cyanide, an agent used in making nerve gas, for use by Kim Jong-Il's regime, intelligence officials from the United States told the Washington Times.
The allegation came as North Korea threatened to pull out of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, accusing the US of preparing for a pre-emptive strike on the country.
A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said “the situation on the Korean Peninsula is getting extremely tense” because of alleged US plans to send in reinforcements and build a naval blockade to prepare for a pre-emptive attack.
The Sosan sparked an international incident when it was stopped by US and Spanish warships in December close to Yemen.
US officials feared the vessel, which was carrying 15 Scud missiles and warheads, was heading for Iraq or another rogue state.
After urgent talks between US and Yemeni diplomats, it was allowed to deliver the weapons.
The Sosan later went on to Germany, where it picked up the chemical cargo before returning to the west Korean seaport of Nampo last week, according to the Washington paper.