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New book: North Korea, Iran in major missile partnership

Friday, February 28, 2003

A secret arrangement between Iran and North Korea has permitted the testing, development and export of intermediate-range missiles even during North Korean's ban on missile launches.

Teheran is funding and aiding North Korea in the development of advanced missiles and components for eventual export to Iran and other Middle East nations according to a new book by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The book, "Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction," said Iranian funding helped North Korea develop such missiles as the short-range Scud-B, the medium-range Scud-C and the intermediate-range No-Dong. North Korea has supplied all of these missiles to Teheran, Middle East Newsline reported.

Authors Joseph Cirincione, Jon Wolfsthal and Miriam Rajkumar said Iranian tests of its liquid-fuel Shihab-3 and the solid-fuel Fateh-110 might have provided valuable data for North Korea's missile programs. North Korea has banned launches of intermediate-range missiles since its 1998 flight of the Taepo Dong-1. The Taepo Dong was described as a three-stage rocket that included a Scud B variant, a No-Dong and a third unidentified solid-fuel third stage.

"North Korea is the leading exporter of ballistic missiles in the world and has sold missiles and missile production capabilities to Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, and Syria," the book said. "North Korea may also be gaining important flight test information from missiles being tested in other countries, such as Iran, and continues to conduct ground-based testing of missile engines and components."

The book asserted that Teheran is believed to have obtained North Korean help to establish Iranian missile production capabilities. This has allowed Iran to enter the missile export market and offer systems and components to such countries as Libya.

North Korea is the leading exporter of ballistic missiles to the developing world, and its exports have continued despite its flight-test moratorium," the book said. "States that have received missiles from North Korea include Iran, Libya, Pakistan, and Syria. Egypt may also have received some systems from Pyongyang."

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