Jeffrey LewisIsrael and North Korea

I’ve been doing a lot of work lately on state-to-state nuclear cooperation — especially the connection between Pakistan and North Korea.

I recently reread  Bamboo and Blood, by James Church (a pseudonym for one of the most distinguished North Korea watchers in the US).  Although Bamboo and Blood is a work of fiction, and Church permits himself some artistic license, it is also a pretty decent introduction to North Korea’s illicit activities in the 1990s.

I was hoping to pick up some hints hear or there, but I was hit over the head with the main plot point: Church’s description of the Israeli effort in the 1990s to bribe Pyongyang to stop selling missiles in the Middle East.

I was mulling writing something on that period, when a colleague sent me a copy of Israel and North Korea: Missing the Real Story, a compressed account of the Israeli effort by Aidan Foster-Carter.  It is such an artful and perfect introduction to the issue that I despair of writing anything better. Have a look for yourself.


  1. FSB (History)

    Now if we could only bribe the US to stop supplying arms and missiles to Israel, and keep the money for US taxpayers.

  2. joshua (History)

    Foster-Carter’s article cites two sources, a 2006 article by Yossi Melman in Ha’aretz, and a 1995 article by Oded Granot in Ma’ariv.

    Here they are. Warning: the Granot story is rather long and detailed.



  3. FSB (History)

    If you’re working on state-to-state nuclear cooperation, you may want to have a look at how US helped Pakistan obtain the bomb, and crushed one of its own best people in the process:

    Can we put sanctions on ourselves?

    • FSB (History)

      …and a more juicy account from the Guardian:

      “The man who knew too much

      He was the CIA’s expert on Pakistan’s nuclear secrets, but Rich Barlow was thrown out and disgraced when he blew the whistle on a US cover-up.”

  4. Aidan Foster-Carter (History)

    Many thanks to Jeffrey for kind words, and Joshua for adding the links. These were in my article as sent, but for some reason Asia Times omitted them at first ‘printing’. They have now been reinstated.

    I look forward to Jeffrey’s findings on Pakistan-NK. Is it true that Benazir carried nuclear plans in her coat pocket when visiting PY, as I believe her biographer alleges?

    Cheers from sunny Devon

    Aidan FC

    Aidan Foster-Carter
    Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University, UK

  5. James Church (History)

    Yes, you’re right. The AF-C article is wonderful. As for the 90s, too bad we didn’t let Israel make its deal with the North. Too bad they didn’t ignore us when we told them we’d take care of the problem.