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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More