North Korean ship discharged at the Syrian port of Tartus

The Israeli attack came just three days after a North Korean ship docked at the Syrian port of Tartus, carrying a cargo that was officially listed as cement.

The ship's role remains obscure. Israeli sources have suggested it carried nuclear equipment. Others have maintained that it contained only missile parts, and some have said the ship's arrival and the attack are merely coincidental. One source suggested that Israel's attack was prompted by a fear of media leaks on intelligence indicating that North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria. here


Al Hamad (1965), 1,700 grt, North Korean flag.

Israel may have carried out the boldest act of nuclear preemption since its own 1981 raid against Iraq's Osirak nuclear complex. The strike came three days after a ship carrying material from North Korea docked at a Syrian port and delivered containers that Israel believes held nuclear materials. If so, its silence is shrewd. It has allowed Syria to avoid a military response and every other Arab state to pretend that nothing happened. So far, the most serious fallout may be China's abrupt and unexplained postponement of scheduled "six-party" talks on North Korea's nuclear program.

Israel bombed a facility where it believed Syria was attempting to hatch its own nuclear weapons program with North Korea's assistance. here