A U.S. soldier (L) and South Korean soldiers conduct a joint landing operation at Mallipo beach in Taean, about 106 miles southwest of Seoul, March 30, 2006. U.S. Forces Korea announced its next military drills with South Korean troops on Friday, a move likely to heighten tensions on the peninsula after North Korea’s defiant missile tests on July 5.
One or more Iranians witnessed North Korea’s recent missile tests, deepening U.S. concerns about growing ties between two countries with troubling nuclear capabilities, a top U.S. official said on Thursday.
Asked at a U.S. Senate hearing about reports that Iranians witnessed the July 4 tests, Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator with Pyongyang, replied: “Yes, that is my understanding” and it is “absolutely correct” that the relationship is worrisome.
Hill’s comments are believed to be the first public U.S. confirmation that Iranian representatives observed the seven tests, which involved one launch of a long-range ballistic missile, which failed soon after being fired, and six tests of short and medium-range missiles. Hill said the six succeeded in hitting their target range.
This was previously reported and does Iranian presence surprise anyone?
Iran has the petro dollars for a cash starved North Korea and what does North Korea have that Iran COVETS?
ENRICHED URANIUM and the technical knowledge and expertise to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Is there any doubt in light of the Israel-Hezbollah War that Iran who has supplied thousands of rockets to Hezbollah would be hesitant to give them sophisticated missile technology and a nuclear warhead?
A few days ago Elite Iranian troops reportedly attacked an Israeli warship with a “guided missile” and sunk an Egyptican luxury liner.
But U.S. officials have long said that Iran and North Korea have been collaborating and have expressed serious concerns that cash-strapped Pyongyang was keen to sell missiles and possibly also nuclear material. “Our understanding is that North Korea has had a number of commercial relations in the Middle East with respect to missiles,” Hill said.
North Korea-Iran ties are of even more concern now as the militant Islamic group Hizbollah, which is backed by Iran, is trading rocket fire with Israel, Hill and Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia said during the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Stay tuned as the United States conducts military manuvers in and around the Korean Peninsula and as the United Nations tightens the lesh around Kin Jong-Il’s neck.
Technorati Tags: NorthKorea, KimJongIl, MissileDefenseAgency