North Korea: Military parade shows off new ballistic missiles
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A terrifying report on North Korean sanctions by a UN Security Council committee has been leaked and states Supreme leader Kim Jong-un’s regime and Tehran are working together to develop long-range ballistic missiles. Some have warned the missiles could hit the American mainland.
Professor Sung-Yoon Lee, a leading North Korean expert at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said: “North Korea is a serial proliferator.
“This is a long and very close partnership between North Korea and Iran.
“We know that North Korea and Iran are united in common factors or ideological hostility toward the United States.”
President Joe Biden has insisted Iran must fully comply with the nuclear deal before billions in US sanctions are lifted.
“The United States remains committed to ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon.
“Diplomacy is the best path to achieve that goal,” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken recently said.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, Senior Fellow and Iran expert at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD, added, “If anything, the Biden team has an opportunity to multilateralise existing US pressure on Pyongyang and Tehran to drive both states to the negotiating table to denuclearise North Korea and to get a bigger, broader, better deal with Tehran.”
But Professor Lee warned: “We need the Biden administration to stay firm and not be tempted to lunge at the first opportunity North Korea presents after a major provocation.
“When Kim Jong Un comes out beaming smiles and says, let’s talk, I’ll send my sister to Washington, if Kim Jong Un were to propose something dramatic like that, the Biden administration should say ‘no, thank you.'”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated over recent years after the Trump administration imposed strict sanctions on the state.
Last month, Iran told the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog it plans to install three more clusters of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
Under Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers, Tehran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at the underground plant.
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These are also the only machines Iran can accumulate enriched uranium with.
Under the Trump administration, the US imposed crippling sanctions on Iran after Donald Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear agreement in 2018.
Iran began publicly exceeding enrichment limits set by the agreement saying it would return to compliance if the US did the same.
US President Joe Biden has suggested the US will return to the deal and he would seek to tighten Tehran’s nuclear constraints.
The two countries were on the brink of war last year after US forces killed Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani during a missile strike in Iraq.
Days before Mr Biden’s inauguration, Kim Jong-un and his government have vowed to increase their nuclear military capabilities in the coming months and claimed no matter who is in power in the US will always be their “biggest enemy”.
North Korean state media quoted the supreme leader as saying: “Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing the US, our biggest enemy and main obstacle to our innovated development.
“No matter who is in power in the US, the true nature of the US and its fundamental policies towards North Korea never change.”
He also promised to pursue closer ties with “anti-imperialist, independent forces” and vowed to increase Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities.
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