North Korea and Iran: Different Rationales for a Nuclear Program

(Ha'aretz) Moshe Arens - Both North Korea and Iran have no compunctions about exporting their deadly know-how to other countries and terrorist organizations. Through them, ballistic missiles have proliferated in the Arab Middle East. The Syrian nuclear reactor, destroyed in 2007, was built by the North Koreans. It is also rumored that North Korea is helping Iran circumvent the restrictions of the nuclear agreement they signed. In determining a policy that will curb the two countries' nuclear ambitions, it is important to take account of the differences in the rationale that underlies each program. For North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the possession of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads is an insurance policy to achieve immunity for himself and his regime from attacks by countries hostile to him. There is no reason to assume that Kim would use his nuclear weapons to take offensive action, as he surely knows that would be a suicidal move that spells the end of him and his regime. With the Iranians it is an entirely different story. For the ayatollahs in Tehran, the ability to deliver nuclear warheads over long distances is also an insurance policy, but it is not their end goal. It is a lever to becoming the dominant power in the Middle East. Even now they are promoting terrorism against those they consider their enemies. Today Iran effectively rules Iraq and parts of Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, while threatening Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel. The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

2017-08-21 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive