Saturday, July 29, 2017

ZUMWALT: What Iran Replacing China as North Korea’s Global Best Friend Means to Us

The only thing more difficult than attempting to stop one rogue nation from acquiring nuclear weapons is attempting to stop two rogue nations collaborating to do so.
As we explore our options in shutting down North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, we must recognize we are also dealing with Iran’s programs, which have piggybacked upon Pyongyang’s. Ever since Iran’s war with Iraq (1980-1988), during which North Korea began providing Tehran with SCUD missiles, both countries nurtured a relationship that would allow them eventually to gain membership into the nuclear arms club.
In recent years, the evolution of this relationship has allowed Iran to step into the shoes of North Korea’s former and longtime best friend, China. It is also why China has been unresponsive to U.S. calls to reel Pyongyang in.
North Korea’s leadership behaves as if it has determined that it no longer needs China as its “big brother,” as Iran is committed to seeing Kim acquire a nuclear arsenal and delivery system for it. Tehran’s mullahs have not hesitated to use Pyongyang over the past several years as a test case for American resolve. As such resolve has been non-existent, Iran came to recognize it could move forward simultaneously and in coordination with Pyongyang. READ MORE