China-made truck used in N.Korea parade to show submarine-launched missile

James Pearson

(Adds Chinese Foreign Ministry comment)

SEOUL, April 18 (Reuters) - North Korea used Chinese-made

trucks to display missiles at a massive military parade last

week, according to photographs released by state media,

underlining the difficulty in enforcing U.N. sanctions against

the isolated state.

At Saturday's parade to mark the 105th birth anniversary of

founder president Kim Il Sung, North Korea displayed six

Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) for the

first time, towed behind trucks painted in North Korean navy


In the photographs, the logo of Chinese firm Sinotruk can be

seen on the vehicles.

Last year, Reuters reported that North Korea was using

Sinotruk HOWO trucks to display a new mobile artillery system.

A Sinotruk sales official said on Tuesday he was not aware

the company's trucks had been used in this year's parade.

"From my understanding, we haven't had any business with the

North Korean market since last year; North Korea has never been

a major focus of ours," said the official, who gave only his

last name, Gu.

"It may have been from before then and they refitted it


China and North Korea maintain "normal contacts, including

normal business contacts", said Chinese Foreign Ministry

spokesman Lu Kang, when asked about the trucks.

"At the same time, as a permanent member of the U.N.

Security Council, China strictly adheres to its international

responsibilities, including those from Security Council

resolutions," Lu told a daily news briefing.

Since 2006, it has been against United Nations sanctions to

ship military hardware into North Korea but control of equipment

and vehicles that have "dual-use" military and civilian

applications has been far less stringent.

It is also much harder to track.

North Korean state media has in the past released images of

Sinotruk chassis and cabins in propaganda related to

construction or mining.

A U.N. report which noted the use of the trucks in the

display of mobile artillery last year did not name Sinotruk, but

said that the Chinese seller had included a "clear clause" in

its deal with the North Korean buyer that the trucks were to be

for civilian use only.


North Korea also appeared to reveal two new types of

intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) during Saturday's

parade. One was mounted on a large off-road truck which was

identified in an earlier U.N. report as being of Chinese origin.

In a 2010 statement sent to China, North Korea's forestry

ministry said the trucks were bought to transport timber,

according to the U.N. report.

The second of the two ICBMs was mounted on a North

Korean-branded "Taekpaeksan" military truck which used tyres

made by China-based Triangle Group, according to photos of the

parade seen by Reuters.

Triangle Group, a major tyre manufacturer headquartered in

Weihai, a port city in eastern Shandong province, said it was

not aware its tyres had been used in the military parade.

"It's possible they were resold from somewhere else," an

official from Triangle's export department said.

(Additional reporting by Philip Wen and Christian Shepherd in

BEIJING; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)