A series of meetings between high-ranking officials from Iran and North Korea is causing increased concern in US national security circles about the close relationship between the two rogue nations.

In an analysis from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon, we learn that US intelligence circles are concerned that the American adversaries may well be sharing information on creating more advanced and more dangerous ballistic missiles.

This concern has only grown after North Korea’s ballistic missile test on Tuesday, November 28, which landed off the coast of Japan and, according to US and South Korean military officials, may have travelled farther into space than any other North Korean missile.

We know that at least one high-level North Korean visit to Iran has taken place but considering the secretiveness of the arrangement, there are likely to be many more. In August, Kim Yong-Nam, North Korea’s second in command and head of its legislature, visited Iran, supposedly to attend the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani, but alarms bells began to sound over the length of the visit and the size of his delegation.

This is one of the reasons that Donald Trump decertified Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal in mid-October and why he ordered an investigation into their relationship.

He said: “There are also many people who believe that Iran is dealing with North Korea. I am going to instruct our intelligence agencies to do a thorough analysis and report back their findings beyond what they have already reviewed.”

Sharing information

Much analysis on the two nations and their illicit missile programmes show that they are sharing ballistic missile and rocket technology, as is the case of the missile technicians, like Sayyed Javad Musavi from Iran’s Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, who travelled to North Korea last year to help the Kim Regime develop an 80-ton rocket booster for ballistic missiles.

For this Musavi worked with Korea Mining Development Trading Corp (KOMID), a company under sanctions from the US and the UN for its central role in procuring equipment for North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

There is also American intelligence, dating from 2010 and made public by WikiLeaks, that North Korea had supplied Iran with 19 advanced missiles.

During the negotiations for the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord, which was supposed to reduce Iran’s nuclear threat by providing sanctions relief, sceptics predicted that Iran would simply outsource its nuclear activities (as it has done to Noth Korea and Hezbollah).

Then-CIA Director John O. Brennan promised that his agency would look out for any foul play.

He said: “We have to make sure that we’re doing whatever we can to uncover anything… We need to be attuned to all of the potential pathways to acquiring different types of [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities.”

However, links between the rogue states are deeper than we could have imagined, according to a 2016 report from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which called on the US to do more to stop the collaboration.

It said: “Signs of military and scientific cooperation between Iran and North Korea suggest that Pyongyang could have been involved in Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile program, and that state-run trading companies may have assisted in critical aspects of Iran’s illicit nuclear-related activities.”

Source » ncr-iran