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 covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs