North Korea and Iran have a lot in common. They are both rogue players that sponsor terrorism and are ambitious in the nuclear department. They also pose a very real threat to peace and security in the West.
Analysts believe that North Korea has been assisting Iran with its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and in fact the missiles Iran has have the same design as North Korea’s missiles. They say that engineers from North Korea are giving Iranian experts help so that nuclear warheads can be carried on the missiles.
New information about Iran’s ballistic and nuclear programs was revealed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The NCRI is the main opposition to the Iranian regime and it has been instrumental, on numerous occasions, about alerting governments to intelligence about Iran’s nefarious activities.
They released a report in June detailing how underground missile sites in Iran are based on North Korean designs and North Korean experts are working with the IRGC.
Like the 1994 deal with North Korea to curb its nuclear ambitions, the same is set to happen with the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. If, or when, it fails, Iran will be able to move quickly.
The missile testing carried out by North Korea last month is extremely concerning because they went better than expected and could reach numerous major American cities. Up until very recently, experts claimed that North Korea would not have this capability until at least 2020.
North Korea is undoubtedly helping Iran accelerate its ballistic missile program which will in turn elevate its threat to the rest of the region, and much further afield. However, this can all be avoided. The US needs to confront the North Korean and Iranian threat head on. The first step is to re-designate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terror. It needs to urgently be put back on the list and some members of Congress are calling for this.
The next step should be to impose harsher restrictions on North Korea because of its missile testing. This will send a message to Iran that it would be an unwise and expensive mistake to progress towards the goal of its own missile program.
Sanctions should target major banks that are keeping the North Korean regime in place. These banks should be forced to make a decision whether to remain in the North Korean market, or the American market – not both.
It is important that North Korea faces the consequences of its actions and threats otherwise Iran will follow suit.