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 Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs