News / Asia

    North Korean Nuclear Test Turns Spotlight on Iran

    Guita AryanJeff Seldin
    North Korea’s nuclear test this week is also putting the spotlight on Iran, which has been moving forward on its nuclear program despite Western and U.S. opposition. 

    There were celebrations in North Korea, where the country's latest nuclear test is being publicly hailed.

    But as worldwide condemnation pours in, there is also the recognition that the test goes beyond the saber-rattling of Pyongyang.

    "This is about proliferation and this is also about Iran," noted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "Because they're linked."

    Experts say tough talk alone is unlikely to resonate in Iran, so what Tehran does next may very well depend on how the world backs up similar talk to North Korea.

    “If you want to prevent Iran from getting the bomb you have to take a hard line against North Korea,” stated Raymond Tanter, former U.S. National Security Council member. He says that so far, Western resolve has not been strong enough.

    “If you allow North Korea to get away with miniaturizing [a nuclear bomb], with three nuclear tests, with any number of missile tests, that signals to Iran that a nuclear-armed North Korea can get away with murder and therefore Iran will not be deterred from getting the bomb,” Tanter added.

    There are indications Iran and North Korea are helping each other, having signed a deal late last year to cooperate on a variety of scientific endeavors.  

    That type of collaboration has been a concern in Washington for years. And some analysts now warn it is clear Iran has been sharing its expertise on uranium enrichment in exchange for Pyongyang's superior missile technology.

    That strategy of cooperation is not without wide-ranging risks.
     
    "In Iran, what we’re seeing is that their nuclear facilities can be identified, they can be theoretically attacked in a limited operation,” noted Brookings Institution scholar Michael O'Hanlon.

    Iran has repeatedly denied its nuclear program is for anything other than civilian purposes.   

    At his State of the Union address, U.S. President Barack Obama, warned that Tehran will only be allowed to push so far. "We will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon," he said.

    How that will be done may depend on the outcome of talks expected later this month between world powers and Iran.

    Jeff Seldin

    Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    February 17, 2013 8:06 AM
    instead of focusing on Iran or North Korea it's good to think about globe financial crises. only if West focusing on Iran and North Korea then they must focus on Israel not on these two countries. otherwise the result could be disarranging of this dusty world and can be call it as a Crusade.

    by: NVO from: USA
    February 17, 2013 7:43 AM
    IDIOTIC regime, FOOLISH people for staying in that country. EXODUS!!!

    by: kanaikaal irumporai
    February 15, 2013 7:54 PM
    "Allowing someone to getaway with murder" is what the US and its allies do from time to time making generous gestures to regime that perpetrate Genocides, both actual and structural. The package includes unique opportunities such as the much needed time (the recipient needs erase the evidence and to muster support), for the accused who is allowed to do the investigation, trial and deliver the final judgement about ones own acts. Years pass by, the process goes on, red-carpet welcomes flow, while similar regimes praise the accused and try to emulate the same. If Genocidal actors like Sri Lanka are given green light like this, then what would deter others like the North-Korean and the Mullahs in Tehran?

    by: Jude from: Vancouver
    February 14, 2013 5:38 PM
    How crazy is this...? Two previous S.Korea presidents, Kim and Rho supported North Korea under the title 'humanity support' for 10 years and what happened now? If they purely wanted to support people, suffering from starvation, they should've watched if it goes to poor, but they didn't. Well, that already happened and unseemingly Korean government will do that again unless its left side gets power. Most crucially, China.. Stop supporting North Korea! You guys always say 'we against N.Korea making nuclear' but support a lot behind. If you become a democracy and friend of the world, you need no stupid shield(N.Korea)! Don't give any stupid reason to Japan, public enemy, to have an army and nuclear weapon.

    by: Anonymous
    February 14, 2013 4:57 PM
    If North Korea missile technology is superior to Iran as you claimed in your report, how come they failed sending a missile into space unlike Iran? Yes did that later but only after Iranians helped them as western media reported.

    by: Sensi
    February 14, 2013 4:40 PM
    What a garbage, all complete with the usual neo-con AIPAC mouthpiece propaganda of Mr Tanter who when he is not trying to expunge student journalists critical of Israel, not lobbying to remove the MEK from the US terrorist list and use them to attack Iran, is just lobbying for an US attack of Iran since a good decade, etc: what a nice bunch of objective people we have here...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.