North Korean nuclear test a joint venture with Iran?
As has been the case with previous North Korean nuclear tests, Tuesday's test may have been a joint venture with Iran
“The most disturbing question is whether the Iranians are using North
Korea as a backdoor plan for their own nuclear program. The Iranians
didn’t carry out a nuclear test in Iran, but they may have done so in
North Korea,” Levkowitz said. “There is no official information on
this... but Iran may have bypassed inspections via North Korea. If true,
this is a very worrying development.”
Speaking to the Post in
April, sources highly familiar with North Korea said a nuclear test was
imminent, and that Iranian scientists could be present at the explosion
site. During North Korea’s previous two nuclear detonations, Iranian
nuclear scientists were present, according to several indicators,
It remains unclear whether the North Koreans
detonated a plutonium- based nuclear device or one that was based on
enriched uranium on Tuesday. The latter option would further suggest
increased cooperation with Iran, he added.
“There is regular
cooperation, since the 1980s, between North Korea and Iran. North Korea
also helped set up a plutonium nuclear facility in Syria, which was
bombed by Israel in 2007, according to foreign sources,” he said.
The North’s nuclear weapons program is mainly based on plutonium, while
Iran is mostly relying on uranium in its efforts to build a bomb. Yet
some analysts believe that Tehran may be pursuing a parallel, secret
plutonium nuclear program. Similarly, North Korea is also known to have
enriched uranium through spinning centrifuges, a process Pyongyang has
recently made much progress in, Levkowitz said.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Iranian nuclear threat, North Korea