By Lee Tae-hoon
North Korea has exported more than 1,000 scud missiles and missile-related parts to the Middle East region, earning nearly $1.5 billion annually, a report said.
The Independent Working Group, a U.S. foreign policy think tank, claims in its newly released report ``Missile Defense, the Space Relationship & the Twenty-First Century" that the Stalinist regime has expanded arms trade and is providing technologies associated with its Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile to Middle East countries including Syria and Iran.
``Missile exports, which net North Korea some $1.5 billion a year, constitute one of its largest sources of revenue," said the report. ``The Kim Jong-il regime has become a principal supplier of ballistic missile components and associated technologies to the Middle East."
The North's missile exports were believed to have dwindled after the test firing of a Taepodong-2 missile, which can reach the United States from the communist country, failed in July 2006.
The long-range missile crashed into a beach on the east coast, about two kilometers from the launch site in Musudan-ri, North Hamgyeong Province.
Ten days after the failed missile test, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1695, calling for member states to prohibit the procurement of ``missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology" to or from the secretive North.
The North is allegedly preparing to launch another version of a Taepodong missile at the same launch site.
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