Iran and North Korea-Dangerous Partnership in Ballistic Missiles

Robin Rowan – updated  December 15, 2022 and July 30, 2019

As early as 2014 Church for Israel started publishing analyses of the close connection between the missile and weapons development programs of North Korea and Iran. As Iran is fast approaching nuclear breakout to weapons grade, the connection to North Korea’s escalation of missile testing should not be ignored.

North Korea already has the capability to fire nuclear-armed missiles and has shared this technology with Iran. On November 19, 2022, the long-range missile capabilities increased as North Korea test-fired intercontinental ballistic missiles

These long-range weapons by North Korea being tested are designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads that could potentially hit the United States. For Iran to hit Israel, they do not need as long a range as an intercontinental ballistic missile. It is the ability to carry a nuclear payload on a missile that should be a warning.

North Korea’s long-range missiles are also designed to overcome the Unites States’ missile defense systems. Fortunately, the missile defense strategic partnership between the United States and Israel is strong. But how far along is the strategic placement of air defense in the United States, and how seriously is the Biden administration taking this threat?

China and Russia, who maintain a dangerous partnership with Iran, have objected to US proposals in the United Nations to sanction North Korea over their weapons program.

The weapons program and partnership with Iran in plain sight

On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles. On the same day, Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile. It is NOT a coincidence. On  July 30th North Korea fired multiple unidentified missiles, the second in a week.

The Iran missile test took place just before the Europeans were meeting to try to salvage the Iran Nuclear Deal after US President Trump pulled out. The North Korean missile test they reported was to deter soon-coming U.S. – South Korea Military exercises.

North Korea performed multiple tests of ballistic missiles despite the negotiations with President Trump and has continuously supplied Iran with the technology. These partners in arms are both facing international and U.S. sanctions for their threatening actions. Isn’t it time the world admitted they are working together for evil?

This Iran/North Korea coordinated show of missile strength happened before –  in 2016.

On January 6, 2016, despite UN resolutions or sanctions, both Iran and North Korea showed the world they were serious threats.

North Korea proudly announced on January 5, 2016, they had successfully tested a Hydrogen bomb. A Hydrogen bomb is a thousand times more devastating than a plutonium nuclear bomb.

Early reports from experts said that it may be a nuclear bomb with a hydrogen isotope, rather than a full hydrogen bomb, but dangerous nonetheless. The size is the issue. Experts believe the bomb may have been small enough to place on a ballistic missile, putting it in range of Guam and possibly the west coast of the United States.

The UN Security Council held emergency meetings and passed sanctions but the missile testing continued.

The same day as the North Korea announcement, Iran revealed a second launch site for a guided ballistic missile, violating UN resolutions. A guided ballistic missile will hit a specific target.

Given the history of cooperation in weapons development between these two nations, why was the mainstream media giving heavy coverage to the North Korea hydrogen bomb test and silent about the corresponding Iranian ballistic missile announcement?

The timing of the Hydrogen bomb test and announcement on the same day as the Iranian guided ballistic missile test in January 2016 was not a coincidence.


For more on this simultaneous threat from North Korea and Iran, see C4I article 

“U.S. and Israel Shot Down Missile over Alaska”

Delivering Nuclear Weapons

On October 2014 Iran did a test launch from a different location. That missile launch prompted the US, UK, Germany, and France to ask the UN sanctions committee to investigate. In a formal letter to the committee, the four nations said: “The launch of this missile clearly constitutes ‘activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.'”

The US Ambassador under the Obama Administration, Samantha Powers, confirmed that the medium-range ballistic missile launched was “inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.” But then no action was taken.

A Dangerous History Ignored

North KorIran North Koreaea, also referred to as DPRK, has had a long partnership history with Iran and Syria regarding nuclear capabilities and weaponry.

In September 2007,  Israel bombed a plutonium nuclear reactor aiming to build fuel rods that could be converted into nuclear weapons-grade plutonium. This project was tied directly to the assistance of North Korea. It was confirmed by photographs and intelligence showing North Korean scientists working in the facility.

A February 2008 report of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) stated North Korean-Iranian collaboration in nuclear warheads development was taking place at secret sites in Iran.

A 2010 Congressional Research Service report stated: “there also is substantial information that North Korea has engaged in collaborative programs with Iran and Syria aimed at producing nuclear weapons.”

In 1997 The Middle East Review of International Affairs warned that North Korea (DPRK) was perhaps “the most important single leak in international anti-proliferation effort, playing a destabilizing role in the Middle East.”

“Since radical Middle East regimes face arms embargoes from Western sources of military technology, and China and Russia can only supply up to a point due to international pressures, DPRK fills in the gap as an isolated regime that is by and largely impervious to international pressure.”

The Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs reported the outsourcing partner of the two nations. “Increased visits to Iran by DPRK nuclear specialists in 2003 reportedly led to a DPRK-Iranian agreement for DPRK to either initiate or accelerate work with Iranians to develop nuclear warheads that could be fitted on the DPRK Nodong missiles that DPRK and Iran were jointly developing…

“…So despite the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate stating that Iran in 2003 had halted weaponization of its nuclear program, this was the time that Iran outsourced to DPRK for proxy development of nuclear warheads and offered oil and gas shipments as payment.


Israel is in range of these ballistic missiles from Iran and is well aware that Iran has not stopped their nuclear ambitions and growth. Israel also knows the dangerous relationship between Iran and North Korea.

The Iran Nuclear Deal Made it Worse

The Obama Administration and the rest of the P5+1 that negotiated the notorious Iran Nuclear Deal should have realized they empowered both of these rogue nations by ignoring reality. Iran and North Korea have no concerns about the UN Security Council or agreements they have made with the world in the past.

The UN is not doing enough and appears powerless. The US and P5+1 are feeding both North Korea and Iran’s foul intentions by ignoring their historical relationship, Iran’s terrorist behavior, by initiating the faulty Nuclear Deal.

The Iran Nuclear Deal shows weakness by the West not only to Iran but also to North Korea. Given the concessions Iran received in the nuclear talks, Iran is confident there will not be consequences to their actions.

The billions of dollars released to Iran via the undeserved sanctions relief under the Iran Nuclear Deal fed terrorism worldwide. The funds fed the terrorists of Hezbollah, the ongoing missile program, Iran’s control over Syria and Iraq, and feed sectarian wars in Yemen. And the released funds may very well go to North Korea for the development of more nuclear and missile technology on behalf of Iran

It’s time for the media to get its eyes off of perceived political protection of the Iran Nuclear Deal and former President Obama’s legacy and on to the larger world picture.

Then-Secretary of State Kerry negotiated and coddled Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, while Iranian leadership screams “Death to America,”. Their partner in weaponry and deceit, North Korea, is emboldened as the Middle East explodes under Iran’s leadership.

It’s time for the close partnership of Iran and North Korea to be revealed for what it is. And that is the greatest danger to not only Israel and the United States but to the world.

Originally published by Robin Rowan for Church for Israel on 1/9/2016, revised 10/14/2017, 7/30/19 updated 12/15/22.



North Korea fires multiple missiles, South Korea’s military says; Washington Post


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