'Will the world stop Iran from helping N. Korea's nuke program?'

Iran was reportedly at the top of the British officials list of suspected nuclear technology co-conspirators with North Korea, while Russia was also high on the list.

September 11, 2017 06:33
2 minute read.
Michael Oren

Former ambassador to the US Michael Oren. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ANNE MANDLEBAUM)


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Following a report in England’s Sunday Telegraph about Iran helping North Korea in its recent jumps forward with its nuclear program, Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren later Sunday took to Twitter asking if the world would finally intervene.

Oren tweeted “British officials say Iran assists North Korean nuclear program. No surprise, but what’s the world going to do about it?”

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Earlier Sunday, the Telegraph reported senior British officials had told it that it was not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the recent nuclear technological leaps forward.

Iran was reportedly at the top of the British officials list of suspected nuclear technology co-conspirators with North Korea, while Russia was also high on the list.

A Government minister purportedly explained that, “North Korean scientists are people of some ability, but clearly they’re not doing it entirely in a vacuum.”

Another Foreign Office source reportedly backed up the idea, stating, “For them to have done this entirely on their own stretches the bounds of credulity.”

In recent months, North Korea allegedly has demonstrated that it can fire intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hit the US, has mastered miniaturizing nuclear warheads to fit on those ICBMs.

It also recently tested a nuclear bomb several times more powerful than its previous test, with many analysts saying the North has finally mastered a low level hydrogen bomb.

Hydrogen bombs are far more destructive than atom bombs - potentially 1,000 more times more destructive.
Netanyahu: Iran is responsible for more than 80% of Israel's security problems (credit: GPO)

There is a long-standing debate about how much Pyongyang has helped Iran with its nuclear program, as well as with initiating a nuclear program in Syria which Israel reportedly destroyed in 2007.

The reverse, Iran helping North Korea’s nuclear program, has also been long discussed in academic and intelligence literature, especially regarding Iran providing funds to the cash-strapped North, but has less often burst into media headlines.

Oren’s tweet was expressing consternation that despite the nuclear cooperation between Iran and North Korea in both directions being well-known for a long-time, the West and the UN have done little to actively stop it.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also reportedly alluded to his department’s concerns about North Korea getting nuclear technological help from other countries last week as he took questions from British MPs about the North Korea crisis.

Mr Johnson said: “There is currently an investigation into exactly how the country has managed to make this leap in technological ability.

“We are looking at the possible role that may have been played, inadvertently or otherwise, by some current and former nuclear states.”

In recent weeks, US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un have engaged in an unprecedented war of words, leading some to say that the world came the closest to nuclear war since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

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