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Last summer, US President Obama oversaw US intelligence cooperation with customs and other authorities in Egypt to seize an illicit small arms cargo worth $23 million that was enroute to Egypt from North Korea aboard the decrepit, bulk freighter Jie Shun. According to Western media reporting, the incident in 2016 led President Trump this summer to suspend nearly $300 million in military aid to Egypt despite assertions from Egyptian officials that the government was cooperating transparently with the UN in line with UN sanctions on North Korea. 


By definition, illicit arms trade is not captured by the data used to examine North Korea's trading patterns and partners below. Egypt has reported no trade with North Korea since 2010, highlighting the need for government-to-government cooperation to assess the scale of North Korea's market and trading partners and develop meaningful sanctions to deter military escalation while avoiding humanitarian crises in the country.

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