GAZA, July 7 (KUNA) -- Israeli defense officials are concerned over
strenghthening of Iranian-North Korean ties, the Haaretz quoted defense
sources on Thursday.
This may indicate an expansion of North Korean support to Iran's nuclear
and missile programs, the dialy added.
In May, the Iranian and North Korean foreign ministers met during a
conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Malaysia, in a rare public meeting
of senior officials from the two countrie.
Israeli officials believe that Pyongyang is helping Iran develop its
military nuclear program, saying that if Iran was only interested in nuclear
energy for civilian purposes, Russia's help on the matter should have sufficed.
A report by a UN team of experts, publication of which is being delayed by
Chinese opposition, has criticized North Korea for its relationship with Iran,
which essentially violates the sanctions on both countries, the daily said.
The report says North Korea violated the sanctions when it supplied missile
technology to Iran. The components were regularly shipped from North Korea to
Iran via a third country, the report said.
Last week, Iran conducted a major missile-launching exercise. It said it
launched 14 missiles, including the 'Shihab 3', which can reach Israel.
British Foreign Minister William Hague said the missiles were capable of
carrying nuclear warheads and the tests were in violation of a UN resolution.
Meanwhile, the new US secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, did not mention
the Iranian nuclear dossier when listing his priorities at his inauguration
He said his top four priorities were retaining American military strength
in an era of budget cuts, defeating Al-Qaida, stabilizing Afghanistan, and
building a true long-term partnership with Iraq.(end)
KUNA 071056 Jul 11NNNN