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North Korea reportedly is Iran's chief arms supplier

North Korea has become the leading supplier of arms to Iran in Iran's protracted war with Iraq, according to a top US Defense Department aide.

A New York Times story quoted Francis J. West, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, as saying Iran had been paying North Korea partly in cash and partly in oil. The Times said North Korea has provided about 40 percent of the approximately $2 billion in weapons, ammunition, and equipment Iran acquired abroad in 1982. Iran reportedly has boosted its oil production past the limits set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and cut its oil prices below those of OPEC.

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