Iran working with N.Korea on missiles

North Korea has been working closely with Iran to develop its long-range ballistic missiles, possibly using Chinese technology, and is building large bases to prepare for their deployment, a South Korean state-run think tank said.

Communist North Korea is also building new sites near the Demilitarized Zone border for short-range missiles and is deploying missiles with improved precision that can strike most of Japan, the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) said in a report.

“The development of Taepodong-2 is conducted jointly with Iran, and it is possible China’s technology is used in the development of the Taepodong-2 engine,” said the IFANS report, which Reuters obtained on Thursday.

The collaboration is part of an international network, including Pakistan, that made it possible for the impoverished North to develop and deploy missiles despite scarce resources and limited testing, the study said.

I would bet that Hugo Chavez is a major member of this “International Network”.  It could be pure coincidence that within weeks of a visit by North Korean delegates to Caracas, to see dictator-in-progress Hugo Chavez, Dear Leader test-fired a medium range missile into the Sea of Japan. On the other hand, trusting to coincidence when evaluating intentions and capabilities of rogue regimes can result in trouble for all concerned.

Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based think tank, Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) said, “Chavez is mainly courting countries considered by the Bush administration to be outsiders. He’s looking for oil deals, votes to support Venezuela’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, and to create a common ideological front against the US.”

Should Chavez get a seat on the UNSC, any chance of of UN achieving meaningful resolutions in resolving current or future conflicts, let alone enforcing those resolutions.

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