Iran military engineers on hand for N. Korea missile launch

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

LONDON Iranian military representatives attended North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile launch, according to Japanese news reports.

At least 10 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attended the Taepodong-2 intermediate missile launch. Japan's Sankei Shimbun and South Korea's official Yonhap news agency reported the IRGC personnel were senior engineers who sought to learn from Pyongyang's missile program.

Yonhap reported on July 1 that the IRGC engineers participated in the preparation for the Taepodong launch, Middle East Newsline reported. The news agency said the IRGC has been examining Chinese-origin missile technology for Iranian procurement.

South Korean sources said Iran and North Korea could be planning a project for the joint development of new liquid missile propellant. Yonhap quoted the sources as saying that the propellant could be used for both Iranian and North Korean missiles.

Teheran and Pyongyang were said to be major partners in missile and nuclear weapons development. Western intelligence sources said Iran has been financing North Korea's intermediate-range ballistic missile program.

In December 2005, a North Korean ship docked in Bandar Abbas and was said to have unloaded about a dozen intermediate-range missiles. The missiles were identified as a variant of the Russian-origin SS-N-4, which could be fitted with a nuclear warhead.

Copyright 2006 East West Services, Inc.

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