Report: US Trying to Stop Egypt from Buying No-Dong Missile Engines
The United States is trying to stop Egypt from purchasing 50 missile engines from North Korea, the Middle East Newsline (MENL) reported on Monday.
US sources said Egypt was negotiating with Pyongyang for the purchase of 50 No-Dong missile engines.
The missile is said to have a range of between 1,000 and 1,300 kilometers, and has already been purchased by Iran.
Egypt has been cooperating with North Korea on missile development for nearly 20 years.
But this is the first time Egypt is believed ready to purchase such a major component of an intermediate-range missile, according to the report.
The sources said the missiles were required for Egypt's medium- and intermediate-range missile program.
Egypt has several such programs and North Korea has helped by providing components, many of them based on Western technology relayed by Cairo.
The Bush administration and Congress raised the issue with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during his visit to Washington in April.
The issue was also raised in meetings between the US ambassador in Egypt, Daniel Kurtzer, with Egyptian leaders in recent months, said MENL.
MENL quoted a report by the Israeli daily, Maariv, as saying that Congressional leaders had threatened to halt $1.3 billion in annual US military aid to Egypt if Cairo acquired the missile engines.
The newspaper said that with these engines, Egypt could launch a missile strike against targets anywhere in Israel - Albawaba.com
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