Open source intelligence indicates that North Korea may have conducted its nuclear tests on behalf of Iran
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In 2007, the London Daily Telegraph reported that with North Korean help Iran could obtain a “low-grade device—less than half a kiloton—within 12 months.”7 It also said, “North Korea is helping Iran to prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year.”8 The story was attributed to a source in the UK Defence Ministry. The weapon matches the description of the 2006 North Korean nuclear test.9 In 2008, Russian journalist Lyusya Izrailova reported that Iran had acquired two “bulky” nuclear weapons.10 In May 2011, Fox News said that with help from Ukraine, Pakistan, and China, “two missile warheads with nuclear capability have been delivered to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . ”11
There are a number of subsequent press reports that are consistent with the 2007 Daily Telegraph report of an agreement with North Korea to provide Iran with nuclear weapons and assist in the testing of the device. In 2012 the journal Nature reported, “North Korea may have conducted two covert nuclear weapons tests in 2010, according to a fresh analysis of radioisotope data”12 (emphasis in the original). This analysis by Lars-Erik De Geer, a Swedish Defence Research Agency atmospheric scientist, concluded that North Korea had conducted two covert tests “in the range of 50–200 tonnes of TNT equivalent.”13 He believes that the tests may be related to the boosting of the yields of North Korean nuclear weapons. Hans Ruehle, who from 1982–1988 headed the German Defense Ministry’s planning staff, has stated concerning these two reported low-yield nuclear tests conducted in North Korea in 2010, “Several intelligence services believe that at least one of them was commissioned by Iran.”14 According to the Times of Israel in 2012, Ruehle also said “a second North Korean test was also carried out that year on Iran’s behalf.”15 Obama administration officials are reported to believe that a September 2012 agreement between North Korea and Iran could involve cooperation in both ballistic missiles and nuclear programs. The agreement is reportedly similar to the agreement between North Korea and Syria that was related to the development of nuclear weapons.16
"Has Iran Covertly Acquired Nuclear Weapons?
." Comparative Strategy
. Vol. 32, No. 4 (2013): 308-312. [ More (2 quotes) ]