'Iranian officials observed N. Korean rocket launch'

Diplomatic source tells South Korean news agency that Iranian officials traveled to N. Korea specifically to watch rocket launch, receive test data; S. Korean gov't neither confirms nor denies report.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 16, 2012 14:35
1 minute read.
North Korean Unha-3  Rocket [file]

North Korean Unha-3 Rocket 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A dozen Iranian officials traveled to North Korea to observe the country's rocket launch, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Monday, quoting a diplomatic source.

The much hyped long-range rocket launch ended in failure on Friday. According to US and South Korean officials the rocket crashed into the sea a few minutes after send-off. Pyongyang had defied international pressure from the United States, the United Nations and others to push ahead with the launch timed to celebrate the 100th birthday of Kim Il-sung, the deceased founder of the state, and to coincide with the ascent to power of his grandson Kim Jong-un.

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The diplomatic source told Yonhap that the Iranians from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) arrived in North Korea a couple of weeks earlier, "undoubtedly there to observe the missile launch and receive test data," from the country.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the veracity of this report.

According to the news agency, South Korean government officials did not confirm or deny the claims.

SHIB officials have been subject to US sanctions in the past, under accusations that they were helping Iran develop nuclear weapons.

Reuters contributed to this report

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