Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Nigeria/North Korea: missile deal

There doesn't appear to be a missile deal between Nigeria and North Korea.

There is still some confusion ... so I offer this quick round-up of stories.

Reuters carried this story quoting Onukaba Ojo, the Nigerian VP's spokesperson.
A memorandum of understanding is being discussed between Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his North Korean counterpart, Yang Hyong-sop, who is on a five-day visit to the West African country.

"They have made a lot of offers including training of army personnel, defense cooperation and missile technology, but definitely nothing to do with nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction," said Onukaba Ojo ....
Later, this clarification
Spokesman Onu Kaba Ojo -- who had earlier told AFP that Atiku had met the North Korean delegation to discuss buying missiles -- said that he had since discussed the matter with Nigerian defence officials and found that the suggestion [about a memorandum on missiles] had come from North Korea.
There's more in this AFP story.
"They came to us wanting a memorandum of understanding signed with us towards developing missile technology, and training and manufacture of ammunition," said a spokesman for Nigeria's Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

"They were just trying to get us interested. There hasn't been any interest shown on our side," Onu Kaba Ojo said.

A statement issued by Atiku's office after the meeting said: "He assured that government would continue to co-operate with the Korean government in the defence sector, an area in which both Nigeria and North Korea have co-operated over the years."
Then there is this story in Newsday. Despite the fact that the story was published late this afternoon, the Associated Press still leads by saying that Nigeria and DPRK have a deal. However, there is this nut in the middle of the story.
Ojo initially said both sides were committed to the deal, but later called back AP to say that "nothing was written in stone."