U.S.: Syria on nuclear watch list

Uh oh!

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 49 minutes ago
ROME – A senior U.S. nuclear official said Friday that North Koreans were in Syria and that Damascus may have had contacts with “secret suppliers” to obtain nuclear equipment.

Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, did not identify the suppliers, but said North Koreans were in the country and that he could not exclude that the network run by the disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan may have been involved.

He said it was not known if the contacts had produced any results. “Whether anything transpired remains to be seen,” he said.

Syria has never commented publicly on its nuclear program. It has a small research nuclear reactor, as do several other countries in the region, including Egypt. While Israel and the U.S. have expressed concerns in the past, Damascus has not been known to make a serious push to develop a nuclear energy or weapons program.

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