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Monday, November 2, 2015

THE UK Government has been urged to provide assurances of “strict scrutiny” over the export of material which can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons to a country with defence links to North Korea.
Data shows that in January this year, the UK approved the export of £1,193 of deuterium compounds to Ethiopia under a licence granted by the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The material has uses ranging from the construction of nuclear reactors and the manufacture of medicinal drugs, to the production of nuclear weapons.
The information, collected by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), also shows the deuterium has been exported to Ethiopia under a “dual-use” licence as goods for both military and civilian purposes.
But SNP MP Stephen Gethins, a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, has raised concerns over the transaction, pointing out there is no record of any nuclear power reactor in Ethiopia.
The country has also signed up to treaties banning the use and spread of nuclear weapons.
Gethins has written to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond pointing out Ethiopia’s “longstanding” defence relationship with North Korea, which has a “predilection for nuclear armament”.