North Korea

North Korea Watch: Iran Military Representatives Attended North Korea’s July 4 Taepodong-2 Missile Launch


Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (L) walks with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. Koizumi has won Israeli support for its accusation of North Korea’s military threat, while calling on Israel to take “rational action” to the escalating Middle East crisis.

World Tribune: Iran military engineers on hand for N. Korea missile launch

Iranian military representatives attended North Korea’s Taepodong-2 missile launch, according to Japanese news reports.

At least 10 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attended the Taepodong-2 intermediate missile launch. Japan’s Sankei Shimbun and South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency reported the IRGC personnel were senior engineers who sought to learn from Pyongyang’s missile program.

And this should be a surprise? And what other “nuclear weapon components” has North Korea sold Iran? Could this be the reason why Iran is stalling a response on the P-5-Plus-1 proposal? Or will say NO?

Probably because Iran does NOT want IAEA inspections of their nuclear facilities.

Is Iran closer to enriching sufficient uranium for a ncuelar weapon than the West has thought? Or have they purchased weapons grade uranium from North Korea?

Possible and a scary thought…….

Yonhap reported on July 1 that the IRGC engineers participated in the preparation for the Taepodong launch. The news agency said the IRGC has been examining Chinese-origin missile technology for Iranian procurement.

South Korean sources said Iran and North Korea could be planning a project for the joint development of new liquid missile propellant. Yonhap quoted the sources as saying that the propellant could be used for both Iranian and North Korean missiles.

Teheran and Pyongyang were said to be major partners in missile and nuclear weapons development. Western intelligence sources said Iran has been financing North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile program.

In December 2005, a North Korean ship docked in Bandar Abbas and was said to have unloaded about a dozen intermediate-range missiles. The missiles were identified as a variant of the Russian-origin SS-N-4, which could be fitted with a nuclear warhead.

Axis of Evil?

You betcha.

But time is running out for both……

Stay tuned…….



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  • john Carey

    North Korea: Testing Allied Fault Lines?
    By John E. Carey
    For The Washington Times

    Reactions following North Korea’s missile launches on July 4 ranged from indignation, to consternation and even wonder from the normal newspaper pundits and talking heads. Some have called North Korea’s mercurial leader Kim Jong Il a lunatic or worse. But it occurs to some of us, at least, that perhaps the “Dear Leader” had a coldly calculated objective in mind: the intentional division of the allies facing his representatives at the six party talks.

    The allies facing Kim’s emissaries (normally called “diplomats,” the North Korea representatives are often known for their less than nuanced or tactful approach) include the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia. Each nation has its own self-interest as the paramount factor influencing negotiations with North Korea. What holds the allies together is the questionable supposition that the aims of the group are universal: But what American’s believe is important to the United States might not be totally agreed upon with the others, especially China and Russia.

    Almost as soon as the rocket motor smoke cleared over North Korea, the United States began its effort to lobby China to intervene with North Korea. The U.S. diplomat in Asia managing the situation, Christopher Hill said, “China clearly has a close relationship with the DPRK and the most influence, and we certainly would like to see what kind of leverage China has.” The U.S. wants North Korea to return to the six party talks, to give up its missile testing program and to cease its nuclear weapon development ambitions.

    The Chinese and Russian, it seemed, balked.

    Japan floated the notion of a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, only to be rebuffed by China, Russia and South Korea.

    President Bush called the leaders of China and Russia, seeking a unified response against the test firings. But China and Russia, each a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council with a veto over its actions, said they opposed taking punitive measures against North Korea.

    Japanese diplomats offered a resolution at the United Nations Security Council threatening sanctions if the North does not dismantle its nuclear program. China and Russia demurred.

    In short, the nations have struggled to find a consensus on how to handle the situation with North Korea. The discord and division has likely delighted the reclusive communist nation, which often tries to drive a wedge between the nations seeking to pacify Pyongyang.

    Almost as soon as it became apparent that Japan could not emerge with a positive outcome from Russia and China on its proposal for sanctions, Japanese officials called for an internal national debate on whether their country’s pacifist constitution would allow Japan to pursue military capabilities to pre-emptively strike at North Korean missile bases.

    Since World War II, Japan’s constitution allows only self defensive forces and action in the name of the Japanese. Japan, for example, has no Navy: they have a “Maritime Self Defense Force.” Hawks in Japan would like to see more international involvement of the Japanese forces. But when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent Japanese forces to Iraq to support the United States and other allies, the Japanese troops were only permitted to engage in humanitarian construction and nation building: the forces were not even allowed to patrol the streets the way U.S. and British forces do routinely.

    But regional allies, like South Korea, greatly fear any hint of a re-emergence of the war-like Japan of yesteryear. South Korea and others are circumspect and fear that Japan will use North Korea’s provocation as grounds to change Japan’s constitution, remove the restrictions on offensive action and even pursue nuclear weapons.

    “You know, diplomacy takes a while, particularly when you’re dealing with a variety of partners, and so we’re spending time diplomatically, making sure that voice is unified,” the president said. “Let’s send a common message: You won’t be rewarded for ignoring the rest of the world.”

    But by mid-week the week after North Korea launched its missiles, the allies seemed divided and unable to forge a unified response. “China’s really trying. We’re trying. Everyone is trying except, unfortunately, the DPRK,” Hill told reporters, referring to the North by the initials of its formal name. “So far the DPRK seems to want to choose a road of deeper isolation.”

    Bu that statement belied the facts. The truth is that the allies can’t agree to the proper and unified response to North Korea. And we must also now face the fact that this may have been the objective of the “Dear Leader.”

    According to Kenneth Quinones, professor of Korean Studies at Akita International University in Japan and former U.S. State Department director of North Korea affairs, Kim Jong Il “is not crazy or irrational. He’s calculating.”

    Former Secretary of State Albright, who also views Kim Jong Il as a calculating strategist, said China, while “definitely concerned about a nuclear North Korea,” is “equally concerned about a Korea that disintegrates,” causing an exodus of North Korean refugees into China. South Korea, naturally, has some of that same fear. Chinese officials therefore, might be reluctant to apply the pressure on North Korea that the U.S. suggests.

    The South Koreans have another fear that Japan, Russia and China can’t always relate to: an enraged North Korea could gravely damage South Korea. Thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and tactical missiles are zeroed in on Seoul. If war ensues, before the U.S. can effectively intervene, South Korea’s capital could be severely damaged.

    So maybe Kim Jong Il is not deranged at all. He created a difficult diplomatic situation for the United States on the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day. This new challenge to the Bush White House — already grappling with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the greater war on terror and other crises — is requiring all its toughness and skill.

    By midday July 12, Russia and China had agreed to “a strongly worded statement” about North Korea.

    The statement being offered for consideration to the U.N. by China and Russia “strongly deplores” North Korea’s missile tests last week and urges Pyongyang to re-establish a moratorium on such launches.

    If North Korea escapes with a tongue lashing: who is smarter? Kim Jong Il or the allies?

    This weekend in St. Petersburg, President Bush will meet with President Putin from Russia. Their relationship has never been under so much strain. In May, U.S. Vice President Cheney said, Russia’s policies toward neighbors “have been counterproductive and could begin to affect relations with other countries.”

    Cheney also said, “No legitimate interest is served when oil and gas become tools of intimidation or blackmail, either by supply manipulation or attempts to monopolize transportation….. And no one can justify actions that undermine the territorial integrity of a neighbor, or interfere with democratic movements.”

    President Putin was said to be incensed.

    But the President Bush has shown before, on occasion, that his “personal diplomacy” can be highly effective. So the president has a big challenge and opportunity this weekend in St. Petersburg.

    Only nuanced diplomatic activity by the president, his Secretary of State and the entire U.S. team can bring the allies back into agreement on what to do about North Korea.

    John Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.