Nawaf Fares, former Syrian ambassador to Iraq, said that the Syrian regime, led by President al-Assad (pictured), will not hesitate to use chemical weapons in a last-ditch effort at survival. Reuters

North Korea was caught trying to expert reagents for chemical weapons to Syria in 2009, it has been reported.

A reagent is a "substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction.

The Asian country, which had already been criticised for selling ballistic missiles to Iran, Syria and Libya, has now been accused of helping the Assad regime at a time where tensions were becoming more apparent.

A Liberian cargo ship that left North Korea to Syria was reportedly seized by Greek authorities back in November 2009, the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun, has reported.

Aboard the ship officials discovered ampoules of substances that could be used to develop chemical weapons, the report added.

A panel of experts originating from up to seven countries including Japan and South Korea will now launch a probe.

North Korea and Syria are not part of the Chemical Weapons Convention which bans its members from producing or stockpiling chemical weapons

North Korea's supply of arms, technology, and equipment to states in the region has however been criticised for enhancing regional instability.