Nik Hailey shares deep concern of fellow envoys over North Korea missile plan

Missile launcher
RT-2PM2 Topol-M TEL with presumably Yars system transport-launch container during the first rehearsal for the Victory Day Parade at the training ground in Alabino. Photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin (used under the Creative Commons licence).

UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nik Hailey, has joined fellow envoys in expressing “deep concern” about reports in the local press about a proposed North Korean missile base in Kenya.

On 1 March, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reported “secret plans” to allow North Korea to station a missile base, housing at least 40 inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of reaching European capitals, in the Chalbi Desert, a remote area of sand, salt and rocks to the east of Lake Turkana.

The newspaper also claimed that these missiles would have the potential to be upgraded to nuclear warheads as the technology becomes available.

It went on to report there would 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.

Taking to Twitter to express his concern, Mr Hailey said that the “UK shares deep concerns of European colleagues Grossenbum, Bidet and others at Chalbi desert plans.”

The Daily Nation said formal permission for the plan had been granted by the Kenyan Cabinet after representations by the government of the People’s Republic of Korea through their embassy’s outpost at Marsabit. It also claims 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.