Proliferation News
» September 20, 2011

West fears possible Iran-North Korea nuclear links

Fredrik Dahl | Reuters


It is one of the West's biggest nuclear proliferation nightmares -- that increasingly isolated Iran and North Korea might covertly trade know-how, material or technology that could be put to developing atomic bombs.

"Such a relationship would be logical and beneficial to both North Korea and Iran," said Mark Hibbs, an expert of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Last year, a U.N. report suggested that impoverished, reclusive North Korea might have supplied Iran as well as Syria and Myanmar with banned atomic technology.

In what could be a sign of this, a German newspaper last month reported that North Korea had provided Iran with a computer program as part of intensified cooperation that could help the Islamic state build nuclear weapons.

"There are reports and rumors, which governments and the IAEA (the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency) have not denied, indicating that there may be a track record of bilateral nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Iran," Hibbs said

But while this could make sense for two states facing tightening sanctions -- and potentially earn Pyongyang some badly needed funds -- the extent and nature of any such dealings, if they take place at all, remain shrouded in mystery.     Full Article

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Produced twice weekly, Proliferation News provides a free summary of news and analysis on efforts to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Visit the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program website for further information and resources. Please send your comments and suggestions to the editor at

About the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program

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