DEBKA-Net-Weekly: Very recent Iranian-North Korean nuclear collusion revealed

A disturbing piece of US intelligence was due to be laid before the US president George W. Bush’s strategy review conference with the Iraq Study Group and talks with the visiting Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in Washington. It was bound to color the two events which both took place Monday, Nov. 13: Twelve days before North Korea’s first nuclear test on Oct.10, a secret Iranian military delegation of nuclear and missile experts was present in Pyongyang. The visitors were taken round North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor and the Punggye-ri testing site in the far north amid the preparations for the coming North Korean test.
This visit was first disclosed on Nov.10 by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 277.
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Some US officials received the impression that the Iranians were briefed on some of North Korea’s secret preparations for the test. If true, this would point to three developments in North Korean-Iranian relations:
First, China was in on the Iranian visit, but ignored it, preferring Pyongyang to carry the can as Iran’s nuclear partner rather than Beijing.
Second, China must also have known about the coming North Korean nuclear weapons test and only pretended to have been taken unawares by Pyongyang’s ten-minute advance notice.
Third, North Korea not only agreed to open its most secret nuclear installations to Iranian scrutiny, but is also willing to instruct Iranian scientists and technicians in Pyongyang or on their home ground on how to set up and execute a nuclear weapons test.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Tehran sources add: Iran’s overweening self-confidence in its ability to carry through its nuclear aspirations in the teeth of international rancor hinges heavily on its certainty of Sino-North Korean assistance.

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