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“There are billions and billions of dollars in missile sales alone that could be made.”

North Korea could potentially start a nuclear arms race by selling its technological know-how to other countries — and do so secretly.

That’s one of the main takeaways from CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s Tuesday remarks at a think tank event in Washington. Pompeo, a hawk with an extremely close relationship with President Donald Trump, argued that cash-strapped North Korea could decide to auction off its nuclear and missile technology to make desperately needed money, especially to Iran.

It would be a bold and risky move, but it has a macabre logic to it. North Korea likely would prefer to bring in hard cash by trading normally with other countries. The problem for Pyongyang is that it is heavily sanctioned by the US and other UN member nations because it refuses to abandon its nuclear and weapons programs. That stops it from sending some of its top potential exports like iron or seafood abroad.

That means North Korea is desperate for funds and could choose to sell what it knows about building weapons of mass destruction in order to make a buck. And it already has a list of willing customers: Experts told me that North Korea previously sold its nuclear technology to Pakistan, Iran, and Syria — and that there’s no reason to think it won’t do so again.

“Think of last year’s missile and nuclear tests as a giant arms brochure,” Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest, told me. “There are billions and billions of dollars in missile sales alone that could be made.”

Zachary Keck, a nuclear expert at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told me that Pyongyang’s new capabilities likely increased global demand for its weapons Read More Here