- By Caroline B.
May 28/09. North
Korea is half a world away from Israel. Yet the nuclear test it conducted on
Monday has the Israeli defense establishment up in arms and it its Iranian
nemesis smiling like the Cheshire Cat. Understanding why this is the case is key
to understanding the danger posed by what someone once impolitely referred to as
the Axis of Evil.
Less than two
years ago, on September 6, 2007, the IAF destroyed a North Korean-built
plutonium production facility at Kibar, Syria. The destroyed installation was a
virtual clone of North Korea's Yongbyon plutonium production facility.
This past March
the Swiss daily *Neue Zuercher Zeitung* reported that Iranian defector
Ali Reza Asghari, who before his March 2007 defection to the US served as a
general in Iran's Revolutionary Guards and as deputy defense minister, divulged
that Iran paid for the North Korean facility. Teheran viewed the installation in
Syria as an extension of its own nuclear program. According to Israeli
estimates, Teheran spent between a billion and two billion dollars for the
It can be assumed
that Iranian personnel were present in North Korea during Monday's test. Over
the past several years, Iranian nuclear officials have been on hand for all of
North Korea's major tests including its first nuclear test and its
intercontinental ballistic missile test in 2006.
wouldn't be far-fetched to think that North Korea conducted some level of
coordination with Iran regarding the timing of its nuclear bomb and ballistic
missile tests this week. It is hard to imagine that it is mere coincidence that
North Korea's actions came just a week after Iran tested its solid fuel Sejil-2
missile with a range of two thousand kilometers.
Aside from their
chronological proximity, the main reason it makes sense to assume that Iran and
North Korea coordinated their separate tests is because North Korea has played a
central role in Iran's missile program. Although Western observers claim that
Iran's Sejil-2 is based on Chinese technology transferred to Iran through
Pakistan, the fact is that Iran owes much of its ballistic missile capacity to
North Korea. The Shihab-3 missile for instance, which forms the backbone of
Iran's strategic arm threatening to Israel and its Arab neighbors is simply an
Iranian adaptation of North Korea's Nodong missile technology. Since at least
the early 1990s, North Korea has been only too happy to proliferate that
technology to whoever wants it. Like Iran, Syria owes much of its own massive
missile arsenal to North Korean proliferation.
timeline, over the past week, two other developments made it apparent that
regardless of what Iran does, the Obama administration will not revise its
policy of placing its Middle East emphasis on weakening Israel rather than on
stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. First, last Friday *Yediot
Ahronot* reported that at a recent lecture in Washington, US Lt. General
Keith Dayton, who is responsible for training Palestinian military forces in
Jordan stated outright that if Israel does not surrender Judea and Samaria
within two years, the Palestinian forces he and his fellow American officers are
now training at a cost of more than $300 million will begin killing Israelis.
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