On Tuesday, Pyongyang test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.The latest evidence of North Korea’s cooperation with the Islamic Republic:
In early August, Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s number-two political leader and head of its legislature, departed Pyongyang amid great fanfare for an extended visit to Iran. The official reason was to attend the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani, but the length of the visit raised alarm bells in Washington and allied capitals. . . .
Kim and Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Hui-chol, [who accompanied him], inaugurated their country’s new embassy in Tehran, a symbol of deepening ties between the two governments. They also held a string of bilateral meetings with foreign leaders, many from countries that have been significant buyers of North Korean weapons in recent decades (e.g., Zimbabwe, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Namibia). . . .
Regarding missile development, Iran and North Korea presented a united front against Washington. . . . After meeting with Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani on August 4, Kim declared, “Iran and North Korea share a mutual enemy [the United States]. We firmly support Iran on its stance that missile development does not need to be authorized by any nation.” . . .
In recent years, U.S. and South Korean intelligence services have tracked a steady stream of Iranian and North Korean officials visiting each other in a bid to develop their defense systems jointly. . . . Pyongyang has served as an important supplier of arms and equipment to Iran’s most important Arab ally, Syria’s Assad regime, during the country’s ongoing war. And Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have procured weapons from North Korea in their efforts to topple the internationally recognized government in Yemen, according to current and former U.S. officials.