North Korean spokesmen reacted furiously last week to claims by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that
The indignant denials notwithstanding, recent studies indicate that the Democratic People's
A recent study by Christina Lin, a former US Department Defense official and specialist on
Iranian-North Korean strategic cooperation dates back to the first days of the Islamic Republic. Its basis is clear.
North Korean assistance plays a vital role in the Iranian missile program. Its flagship Shihab missile project is a product of the relationship. The Shihab is based on
More recently, Iranian officials were present at the testing of the advanced Taepodong-2 missile in
One report has also suggested that
In addition, an Iranian opposition report in 2008 identified the presence of North Korean experts at a facility near Teheran engaged in attempts to develop a nuclear warhead to be placed on intermediate range ballistic missiles such as the Shihab-3 and the Nodong. The report was cited by Agence France Presse.
The North Korean strategic link with
Three North Korean scientists were reported to have been among the dead following an explosion at a Syrian chemical weapons facility near
And one must not forget also the extensive evidence which has emerged to suggest a North Korean role in the construction of the Hizbullah underground tunnel network which played a vital role in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. The network, according to the Intelligence Online Web site, was created by Hizbullah militants trained in the construction of underground facilities by North Korean experts. The tunnels in
So despite North Korean official anger at Lieberman's remarks, the evidence is well-documented and overwhelming.
But why is
The factors underpinning North Korean support for
These firm foundations mean that - short of action taken to disturb it - the friendship between the Kim Jong-il dictatorship in
Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center,
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.