Sarin component ends up in N. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea imported 107 tons of a toxic chemical that can be used to make sarin nerve gas from South Korea last year, South Korean officials said today.
South Korea worried that some of its "strategic goods" -- materials that can be used for military and terrorist purposes -- have recently ended up in the hands of countries like North Korea and Libya, and said it was tightening control of exports of those items.
In the latest revelation, a South Korean company was found to have sold 107 tons of sodium cyanide to a Chinese firm from June to September last year. The cargo was then shipped to North Korea, said the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy in a news release.
The South Korean company shipped the chemical without an export permit. The company head was later prosecuted and sentenced to a suspended 11/2 years in jail for violating the country's trade law, the news release said.

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