Iran and North Korea: Partners in crime
If North Korea is capable of delivering a ballistic missile mounted on a nuclear weapon, could Iran be far behind
Iran has been closely linked to North Korea’s missile and nuclear
programs. Analysts suspect that Iranian assistance was critical in rapidly advancing North Korea’s missile program. Iranian missile experts are thought to have been on the ground during North Korea’s recent rocket launch, and there have reportedly been high-level meetings between Iranian and North Korean officials on the issue.
On the nuclear front, Pyongyang has developed its nuclear arsenal
despite international sanctions and diplomatic efforts. In 2003, North
Korea unilaterally withdrew from the Treat on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons. The country tested nuclear weapons in 2006, 2009, and
in February 2013.
The February 2013 test was suspected at the time of being a mechanism for Iran to outsource its nuclear development
to North Korea, with a U.S. official saying that “it’s very possible
that the North Koreans are testing for two countries.” Suspicions
heightened earlier this month when it emerged
that the North Koreans had taken unusually stringent measures to shield
the composition of the blast from detection. It is feared that the
explosion was uranium-based rather than plutonium-based, as had been the
previous two tests.
North Korea is not known to possess a pathway to creating
weapons-grade uranium. Meanwhile the Iranian program largely focuses on
enriching uranium, with Tehran making moves to activate a plutonium
pathway only recently.
Any uranium bomb tested in North Korea would functionally be treated as
an Iranian bomb, either directly or because Iran had transferred the
technology to build it.
Meanwhile Western officials have drawn parallels between how the two
countries developed nuclear weapons, with an emphasis on the need to
prevent Iran from following North Korea’s example and using negotiations
to stall for time while developing the infrastructure necessary for
acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
And yet Iran continues to do just that, and the West continues to go along via the P 5+1 talks.... And Iran is a bigger threat
Iran would also be different from other nuclear rogue states. The
West often fears a nuclear Pakistan, given that a large part of its
tribal lands is ungovernable and overrun with Islamic radicals. Its
government is friendly to the West only to the degree that American aid
Yet far larger and more powerful India deters nuclear Pakistan. For
all the wild talk from both the Pakistani government and tribal
terrorists, there is general fear in Pakistan that India has superior
conventional and nuclear forces. India is also unpredictable and not the
sort of nation that can be periodically threatened and shaken down for
Iran has no comparable existential enemy of a billion people — only a
tiny Israel of some seven million. The result is that there is no
commensurate regional deterrent.
Nor does Iran have a tough master like nuclear China. Even Beijing
finally pulls on the leash when its unpredictable North Korean client
has threatened to bully neighbors and create too unprofitable a fuss.
Of course, China enjoys the angst that its subordinate causes its
rivals. It also sees North Korea as a valuable impediment to a huge,
unified, and Westernized Korea on its borders. But that said, China does
not want a nuclear war in its backyard. That fact ultimately means
North Korea is muzzled once its barking becomes too obnoxious.
A nuclear Iran would worry about neither a billion-person nuclear
existential enemy nearby such as India, nor a billion-person patron such
as China that would establish redlines to its periodic madness.
Instead, Tehran would be free to do and say what it pleased. And its
nuclear status would become a force multiplier to its enormous oil
wealth and self-acclaimed world leadership of Shiite Muslims.
If North Korea has been a danger, then a bigger, richer, and undeterred nuclear Iran would be a nightmare.
Meanwhile Nero Obama continues to fiddle and to send his minions to talk about linkage
. Get ready for nuclear war, folks. It's coming.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Iranian nuclear threat, Kim Jong-Un, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korea, P 5+1