The North Korean-Israeli Shadow War

(Tablet) Jay Solomon - In 2007, Israel's Mossad hacked the personal computer of Ibrahim Othman, director general of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission, during his visit to Vienna. A trove of downloaded photos detailed a building being constructed on the Euphrates River at Al Kibar in eastern Syria that was revealed to be a virtual replica of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor, a plutonium-producing facility that the U.S. viewed as a virtual bomb-making factory. One photo showed Othman arm-in-arm with Chon Chibu, a North Korean nuclear scientist who worked at the Yongbyon facility. In fact, North Korea has been actively bolstering states hostile to Israel, and facilitating attacks on the Jewish state, since the 1960s. Israel's bombing of Al Kibar in 2007 didn't deter North Korea from continuing to proliferate sophisticated weapon systems to Israel's enemies. Kim Jong Un has dramatically increased his country's military capabilities. He has tested ballistic missiles that, once perfected, could hit the western U.S., American intelligence officials believe. North Korea has also increased the yield of its nuclear weapons, moving toward a hydrogen bomb capability. Israel's security officials say that North Korea's past actions suggest Kim would have no qualms transferring these capabilities to Israel's Mideast enemies, particularly for the right price. The writer, former chief foreign affairs correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, is an adjunct fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2019-09-10 00:00:00

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