News : Nuclear
- Published: Tuesday, 19 June 2018
By INU Staff
INU - After his summit with North Korea, US President Trump claimed that Pyongyang is “no longer a nuclear threat”. Still, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials, a new security challenge may be emerging —North Korea may sell advanced, long-range ICBM missile technology to Iran.
Although they are unauthorized to speak on the matter, two intelligence officials, who requested that their identities be protected, admit that that while the immediate threat of armed conflict with North Korea has diminished, there is a growing concern that Pyongyang may consider selling the technology for its most advanced weapons systems to Tehran.
One of the senior U.S. intelligence officials explained, “We know for a fact that North Korea will sell almost any of its military hardware if the price is right — and Iran has paid that price time and time again. In the past, there is ample evidence — even in the public domain — that proves North Korea will sell conventional weapons, all different types of missile technology, and even nuclear tech and expertise if you have the funds to pay for it,” He continued, “What terrifies many of us is that we might not even know that Pyongyang has even sold such technology until it's too late to do anything about it. Think about how much information you can store on just a flash drive today. All it would take is one North Korean agent, selling a 256-gig USB stick to an Iranian operative filled with blueprints, design specs and advanced warhead shielding technology to make a massive difference. Just that amount of information on ICBM technology alone would be a game changer for Tehran — and we would not even know about it until the new designs were included in their missile tests.”
North Korea has previously sold arms to some of the world’s most anti-U.S. states, fueling conflicts across the globe. Pyongyang reportedly helped Syria with its chemical weapons and missile programs. North Korea began building a nuclear reactor for the Bashar Assad, but it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 2007.
It has already been reported that North Korea sold multiple classes of missile platforms to Iran. Now, with missiles that can reach the U.S. continent, and the sanctions that affect the North Korean regime's ability to raise money, Pyongyang may be willing to sell its best weaponry, even at the cost of détente with Washington.
“It will be just a matter of time before North Korea sells this stuff (ICBM technology) to Iran. We need to prepare for this as it might even already have happened,” claimed the other senior intelligence official, who added, “I want to stress I have no proof of that, but what would you do if your nation was being hurt by sanctions and you can cause America and its allies some pain?”
The Iran Nuclear Deal appears to be falling apart. However, even if Tehran abides by its provisions with willing non-U.S. partners, acquisition of missile technology is not prohibited under the terms of the deal. For Iran, it would be the strategic move. It could spend the next several years designing, testing, and perfecting missile technology, all the while honoring its nuclear agreement with Europe, Russia, and China. Then, in 2025, the year Iran can legally leave the agreement, it could perfect a working ICBM to be used as the delivery system for a nuclear weapon.
With this possibility in mind, any deal between the U.S. and North Korea should minimally include a provision that Pyongyang would not be able to sell any missile technology, or allow its scientists to work on other nations' missile programs. As well, a full accounting of any missile sales to foreign powers like Iran, should be demanded by Washington.
Many U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, so we might be facing Kim Jong-Un’s weapons of war in a future conflict, whether they are fired by North Korea or Iran.
- Could US-Iran nuclear summit work?
- Next:How to stop Iran from scuppering the US-North Korea nuclear talks