North Korea's Deadly Partnership with Iran

(Iranwire-Daily Beast) North Korea's Kim Yong Nam, speaker of the parliament and perhaps the country's second most powerful man, was a guest at the inauguration of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani last weekend. Yong Nam, who used to be the minister of foreign affairs from 1983 to 1998 under Kim Jong Un's father, is the regime's envoy to the world. The relationship between the two countries was ultimately propelled by revolutionary Iran's military needs in the early years of the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. "The Khomeini regime was a pariah, desperate for military equipment and ammunition. They reached out to everyone they could, and few were willing to help. One of those was North Korea," said Joseph Bermudez Jr., an analyst of the Korean People's Army. "On the North Korean side, it's likely that they just saw Iran as a paying customer. Iran had oil. Iran had cash. North Korea had weapons but no cash and no oil, so it was an ideal match." Moreover, North Korea was well placed to act as a conduit for Soviet and Chinese-made arms to Iran. North Korea provided Iran with the SCUD B ballistic missiles it used against Iraq. Since the 1990s, North Korea has helped Iran to develop its Shahab missiles, based on North Korean models.

2017-08-11 00:00:00

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