Almost every time Iran is in the news, we can always count on the attention starved North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, to conduct the latest test of North Korea’s missile technology.
His father, Kim Jong Il, was no different.
Over the weekend, we saw the most recent version of this drama as North Korea launched a long range rocket to carry its second satellite into space, the Kwangmyongsong-4.
As usual, the chief purpose of the exercise was to test North Korea’s ballistic missile technology, in clear violation of existing United Nations sanctions. Even China, who helped create the Hermit Kingdom and keep it afloat, said that North Korea used ballistic missile technology to carry out its satellite launch.
All of this coming on the heels of North Korea’s latest nuclear test, also in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
Condemnation from the international community over North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test was swift with the typical pronouncements that mean nothing to the North Korean dictator.
The U.N. Security Council “strongly condemned” the launch, and vowed new sanctions. U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said “There can be no business as usual.”
Totally missing from both United States and international condemnation was any mention of North Korea’s “chief enabler” of its ballistic missile technology program, Iran.
Yes, the same Iran that remains a state sponsor of terrorism. And also, the same Iran that conducted two ballistic missile tests of its own last October, after the nuclear deal was announced.
As the Federation of American Scientists first pointed out years ago, Iran has been in bed with North Korea since the early 1980s and has helped fund North Korea’s missile development.
The Taepodong-2 is North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile and has been the subject of many of North Korea’s missile launches. North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket, which successfully put its first satellite in space in December of 2012, uses the same delivery system as the Taepodong-2.
It is believed to have a range of 6,200 miles.
The Shahab missile is Iran’s version of the Taepodong missile, that Iranians helped pay for with oil and cash. A few years ago, news organizations reported that Iranian experts involved with the Shahab missile were at the December 2012 rocket-satellite launch in North Korea.
In addition, Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported that a scientific and technology agreement between Iran and North Korea was signed in September of 2012, after which Iran stationed staff in North Korea to further cooperation in nuclear and missile development.
The link between Iran and North Korea is real.
North Korea’s ballistic missile technology, coupled with its ever increasing nuclear capability, presents one of the greatest national security threats North America has ever faced. North Korea is a communist dictatorship pretty much isolated from the rest of the world that can’t even feed all of its people.
Yet, it now has a ballistic missile technology with a potential range of 6,200 miles, thanks to its “chief enabler,” Iran. Yes, the same Iran that will be up to $150 billion richer as a result of the United States and its allies unfreezing Iranian assets, as part of the recent nuclear deal.
To successfully deal with the North Korean threat, we must understand the nature and full extent of its relationship with Iran. Our lack of a real foreign policy and the objective to get a nuclear deal with Iran at any cost just to get a deal, has made our task of successfully confronting and dealing with the increasing North Korean threat much more difficult.
Van Hipp, former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Army, is chairman of American Defense International, Inc. (ADI), a Washington, D.C., consulting firm. He is the author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.” To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.