US Worried By N. Korea, Iran Missile Link
July 24, 2004
Khaleej Times Online
TOKYO -- There is strong evidence that North Korea and Iran are cooperating on missile development, a senior US official was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Japans Asahi Shimbun daily did not name the US official, whom it quoted as telling reporters on Friday during a visit to Tokyo that Iran had given data on launch tests to North Korea.
Iran and North Korea are part of US President George W. Bushs axis of evil.
There is very strong evidence indicating that Iran and North Korea are cooperating on ballistic missile development, Asahi quoted the US official as saying.
The comments coincided with a visit to Japan by US Undersecretary of State John Bolton, part of a drive by Washington to breathe life into six-party talks aimed at ending a 20-month-old standoff over North Koreas nuclear ambitions.
Bolton was scheduled to leave on Saturday after talks with Japanese officials.
North Korea shocked Japan and the world in 1998 when it launched a Taepodong ballistic missile that passed over Japan before splashing into the sea.
Japan is also concerned about North Koreas Rodong-1 missiles, which have a range of around 1,300 km (800 miles), and upon which Irans Shahab-3 ballistic missile was based.
In a September 2002 summit with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pledged to extend a moratorium on ballistic missile launches.
"There is strong evidence that North Korea and Iran are cooperating on missile development"
Gee, No Kiddin'?