Israeli Expert: Warheads Used in North Korean Missile-Launch Latest Indication of Close Military Cooperation With Iran
Photos released by North Korea of its launch of long-range ballistic missiles are the latest proof of the close military cooperation between Pyongyang and Tehran, an Israeli expert in the field told the news site IsraelDefense on Tuesday.
According to Tal Inbar — head of the Space and UAV Research Centre at the Fisher Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies — what was new in the photos was the shape of the warheads attached to the Nodong missiles, known in Iran as the Shahab-3.
Until now, such warheads — first detected by Inbar in Iran in 2010 — have not been seen in North Korea. At the time, Inbar dubbed them NRVs (or, “new entry vehicles”), which became their nickname among missile experts around the world.
Inbar told IsraelDefense: “The configuration that we saw [on Tuesday] is identical to what we saw in Iran six years ago. In principle, its penetrating body (warhead) is identical to that of Scud missiles, but is mounted on the Shahab-3, and creates a more stable entity than other Shahab/Nodong warheads.”
Inbar said this was the third time that something of this nature had appeared in Iran before it did in North Korea. “But we must remember that the two countries engage in close cooperation where military and space-directed missiles are concerned,” he said. “It is thus possible that both plans and technology are being transferred regularly from one to the other.”
As was reported in The Algemeiner in July, American intelligence officials said that Iran attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile based on North Korean technology. The test reportedly ended in failure when the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile exploded shortly after lift-off.
In April, as The Algemeiner reported, former US Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser John Hannah used the story of Israel’s 2007 bombing of the North Korean-built nuclear reactor in Syria to warn against Pyongyang’s behavior today. “The greatest threat we face from [Supreme Leader] Kim Jong Un is probably not a suicidal attack against the United States or our allies in Northeast Asia with nuclear missiles. Rather, the more likely danger is that North Korea’s tyrant sells part of his ever-expanding nuclear arsenal to other rogue actors that mean us harm,” Hannah wrote, going on to identify Iran and its Lebanese Shiite proxy Hezbollah as particularly worthy of monitoring.