North Korea: Iranian Proxy and Lab Test

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North Korea (NK/DPRK) has been displaying, for quite some time, an apparently erratic behaviour that usually repels the attention of the media (except when there is a verbalised direct threat); however not having paid a closer attention to it served the adversaries of the West well.
But let's go straight to the point: NK is a proxy and a test lab.

North Korea as a Proxy
Many say that the DPRK is a Chinese proxy against South Korea and Japan - this makes sense because China does have pending issues with these two Asian countries, and they are close US allies. This being said, if China by any nationalistic reason needs to cause tensions with either its neighbours or with the first world power, it will ask the DPRK to engage in provocative actions/rhetoric against the mentioned countries (something that the DPRK is more than willing to do in exchange for food, trade and political alliance).
Others say that North Korea is Russia's proxy against the US - it would make more sense if they would say that NK is Russia's pawn (i.e. when it needs to turn the US', China's and other Asian nations' attention away from its affairs [be it domestic or foreign] it uses NK as a distraction; a role North Korea is more than willing to play in exchange for military cooperation [a cooperation that contributes to its missile programme]; infrastructure projects and educational scholarships).
We will take things a bit farther and add that the DPRK is also an Iranian proxy against the US and its allies (if the North Korean-Iranian missile trade is estimated at US$2Bn per annum; imagine how much NK is making with a broader cooperation). Last month, North Korea - after being targeted for a new round of sanctions - threatened the US directly, saying that American cities would be turned into a "sea of fire" (N.B: the spirit of this threat is very much similar to that of Iran's "razing [Israeli cities] to the ground"); which prompted the US to boost its Missile Defence System in its Pacific coast line. But what was the result of this North Korean threat? It detracted the world's attention from the Iranian nuclear programme and from the fact that they are stalling the negotiations with the P5+1.

North Korea as a Test Lab
While the P5+1 is busy fretting the Iranian uranium enrichment programme; Iran is carrying on with its nuclear ambitions by turning its attention to plutonium-based nuclear weapons. The Persians need the sanctions to be eased but they also have nuclear needs (and since the world is pressing them, they have turned to an acquaintance made when they were customers of the Khan Network).
In December 2012, it was reported that Iran and North Korea had a nuclear cooperation - Jeffrey Lewis, a proliferation expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, suggested that before it was DPRK who was assisting the Persians with their nuclear programme, but now it is Iran who is helping NK; however after correlating the events since December we concluded that NK is still Iran's assistant.
In February 2013, reports said that Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, travelled to North Korea to observe their Feb 12 nuclear test (of an alleged miniaturised device). It should be noted that Mr Mahabadi is the head of the Iranian miniaturisation programme (i.e. the programme seeking to miniaturise a nuclear warhead in order to be placed in a ballistic missile) which is a huge red flag. At the end of February, it was reported that there is evidence that Tehran is developing a plutonium-based nuclear weapon, in Arak - a heavy-water production plant, activated in January, from which "IAEA inspectors have been barred for eighteen months now".
In late March 2013, Tehran announced it might have a plutonium-producing reactor working in a year. Last week, Pyongyang announced its plans to restart a plutonium reactor (at its Yongbyon Nuclear Facility). There are no coincidences.

Given all these facts, we believe the international community has realised that if Iran's nuclear goals are to be stopped then its collaborators need to be tackled as well - hence the inclusion of US stealth nuclear bombers in the US-South Korea joint-military exercises.
America is sending a serious warning to North Korea, Iran and any other presumed accessory...

Comments

  1. Let me let the cat among the pigeons. I am all for all countries going nuclear if they can afford it. Why should only the USA and its allies be nuclear? If North Korea is fronting for China, so be it. Let us play some chess, lose some lives and see who blinks first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      All right, let the cat out...well, I don't think the US and its allies want to be the only ones to be nuclear; the question is proving that your nuclear intentions are indeed peaceful.
      You would agree with an attack against NK? I guess that would put China and the rest of the NK gang in their place...let's see.

      Rummy, thank you so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Like Rummuser, I also think all countries should go nuclear (though perhaps for different reasons. For example, I would love Portugal to go nuclear so that our electricity bill would be cheaper...much much much cheaper). Iran claims their nuclear programme is for energetic purposes; I have no problem with that but I do have problems with them not allowing IAEA inspectors to inspect the nuke plants (if it is for peaceful purposes, why not allowing them to check those plants out?). As for North Korea, yeah...let's play some chess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ana :D!

      Oh yeah, you are right, Portugal should go nuclear in that sense - the cost of electricity per household is huge and it is straining a lot of families.
      Exactly, that is the problem: Iran is not serious and transparent enough about its true nuclear intentions. Plus, their political stance and narrative do not help either.

      Ana, thank you ever so much for your fab comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. I go with the "iranian proxy" theory. I think that's the main source of all of this aggressive behavior.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi D! :D

      It does make sense, doesn't it?

      D, thank you so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Hey, Max!

    I am with Delirious on this one.
    The Persians are playing with us all; the world is dancing at their tune. They will never surrender!
    Good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lenny :D!

      The world does seem to be dancing at their tune (in more ways than one). I agree that they may resist a lot...so what is the solution?

      Thank you *bowing*.

      Lenny, thank you so so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. The world does seem to be dancing at their tune (in more ways than one). I agree that they may resist a lot...so what is the solution?

      Thank you *bowing*.

      Lenny, thank you so so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    3. Lenny, I had started with "Hi Lenny :D!" but apparently blogger deleted it - perhaps it doesn't like my smile lol ;)...

      Delete
  5. Max, very disturbing report. If NK is an Iranian proxy, then what other activities has the NK been engaging in on behalf of Iran? We should also add another factor into the equation: Pakistan.
    Either case, President Bush was right when he included NK in the axis of evil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Anonymous :D!

      It is a bit, isn't it? Very good question indeed. We did include it because Pakistan is also deep in it (if you take a closer look at the article you will see that Pakistan was mentioned in other words).
      President Bush was right about many things...

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your fab comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Somehow on a lighter and philosophical not, I feel the world should just end now having to hear and live in so much of veiled threats, failed diplomacies and some narrow gains and once more I repeat, the common per say is hardly concerned about foreign policies, borders and diplomacy. They would just be happy to live in their lands and spend every day in their daily chores. Its only those in power who doesn't have any work or to worry about their daily meal on the table get busy in these kind of histrionics of war, nukes and conspiring against nations but alas, I know, that the show will just go on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      Whoa, end now because of that? Come now, K...veiled threats, failed diplomacy and narrow gains have been around for thousands of years and we are still here ;). Now seriously, I think a new way of doing politics is in order but I am aware that it will take a lot of time before that change can take place - we just need to be patient.

      K, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers, mate

      Delete
    2. Honestly, I'm an optimist by nature and your words are very true, but somewhere I feel these elements have now reached a pinnacle and the tentacles are so wide spread now, that even cutting one or two of them will hardly bring any order. Just like you I also do wish and hope a path-breaking revolution happens in the polity but as I see it, I would be love to be an optimist for my future generations, but....

      Delete
    3. I see where you are coming from; but we have to keep on finding ways to bring things into its proper order.
      For now it is just a bit difficult to be optimistic, eh?

      Delete
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