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Envoys oppose N. Korea missile base in Kenya

A secret plan to allow North Korea to station a missile base in northern Kenya can be revealed today.

The base will house at least 40 inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of reaching European capitals.

It is also believed that they will have the potential for upgrading to nuclear warheads as the technology becomes available.

There will also be a number of ancillary weapons systems, including newly developed hand-held missiles with uranium-tipped warheads for close combat, codenamed Catapult and Pea Shooter.

The base will be in the Chalbi Desert, a remote area of sand, salt and rocks to the east of Lake Turkana.

Formal permission for it was granted by the Kenyan Cabinet earlier this week after representations by the government of the People’s Republic of Korea through their embassy’s outpost at Marsabit, run by senior consul Jun Ki.

The station will be given embassy status, which means that legally it will be Korean soil and Kenya will cede control over it for as long as the bilateral agreement remains in force.

The new base’s strategic and political importance was recognised by North Korea’s decision to put it under the control of the four-star general, Soon To-bom, a close confidant of the ruling family of Kim Jong-un.

The base will be closely guarded by crack units of Gen Soon’s elite force, Kim’s Own Deserters — whose motto is “Who Fights Flees”.

LAND LEASE

Gen Soon was chosen to head the project not only because of his loyalty to the reigning dynasty but also because of his knowledge of Kenya, gained during visits to his son, Won Fat-boi, who studied international relations at the University of Nairobi.

Mr Won’s’s dedication to his subject — which produced a doctoral thesis on the night life of River Road — led to a number of young Kenyan women enjoying privileged trips to the Korean capital, Pyongyang, where they were chief guests at wild ‘khanga parties’ during which guests wore the colourful loose East African wraps and danced the night away.

The parties were fuelled by Tusker beer and Kenya Cane spirit.

Nyama choma with ‘kimchi’, Korean pickled cabbage, was a popular accompaniment at the notorious orgies.

It was while in Nairobi that Gen Soon struck up friendships with various high ranking members of the Kenyan military and defence officials who, it is understood, supported his country’s plan for a missile base.

Politicians of all parties also found the idea appealing partly because the general confirmed that starting in this election year, a land lease of around $5 billion (Sh500 billion) per annum for the 20,000 acres of desert land required had been agreed.

So keen were they to assist the Koreans that building work continues in secret with the missile silos and administrative buildings disguised as oil exploration sites.

Reaction to the disclosure of the buildings’ real purpose set off a storm of protest in diplomatic circles with the South Koreans, the Japanese, the European Union and the US being among the most vociferous in their denunciations.

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For South Korea, roving ambassador Free Dom-Park complained that the base would sour the existing good relations between his country and Kenya, while the Japanese spokesman, Ms Kawasaki Suzuki, sought promises that any missiles would not overfly her country.

Speaking for the European Union, French spokesman Jean-Claude Bidet, supported by his colleague M. Rene Latrine, said North Korea’s decision to ignore the wishes of the EU and Nato would only make the EU stronger.

The Chinese, often seen as the PRK’s only ally, were said last night to be “inscrutable,” while for Germany Herr Helmut Grossenbum was clear that the threat would not be tolerated and that if it went ahead there would be no option but to form another coalition.

No Kenyan Government spokesman was available for comment.

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