Donald Trump issued the following Tweet in reaction to this morning’s North Korean ICBM launch that had the potential to hit Alaska.

Despite the bravado, the Tweets do not hide the utter shock in North Korea’s ability to make serious advancements in its ICBM program.  Today’s test was supposed to be a year away.  This puts pressure on the Trump administration to respond accordingly.

Yet, how did the situation reach this point?  Disregarding the last 17 years of foolish attempts at convincing North Korea to stop, the last several months has seen their program has grown considerably.

Iran is Developing North Korea’s ICBM Technology

The partnership built around missile development and nuclear technology between Iran and North Korea has only grown stronger since the Obama administration reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

North Korea tests missiles then sells the know how to Iran who in turn tests and improves the missile and then sends the updated specs back to North Korea.  This is the explanation of how the Kim Jong Un regime has reached impressive levels of missile capability is disconcerning and means that the Trump administration is essentiall fighting a two front war. It also means that the North Korean and Iranian issue are ver intertwined.

Israel Defense Analyst Tal Inbar wrote in May:

“The ‘accuracy revolution’ is a process we see in many countries’ rockets and missile forces,” Inbar wrote. “North Korea’s close ally, Iran, which bought the technical know-how on ballistic missiles from North Korea, introduced a new generation of ballistic missiles with a forward section containing a set of movable fins and guidance equipment.”

Taking on One Means Taking on Two

Micha Gefen reported in April about the interconnection of the two programs.

“It has been known for some time that Iranian missile technology was developed in North Korea.  Both regimes see the USA as their number one enemy and have worked together to build a situation where they would pose a serious threat to the USA. To most observers North Korea and Iran are in constant coordination as can be seen from last week’s ballistic missile test in Ira, which followed North Korea’s launch of four missiles near Japan.

Researchers from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies published a research paper (.pdf) in January 2016 outlining Iran’s past and present military dealings with North Korea, concluding that “the signs of military and scientific cooperation between Iran and North Korea suggest that Pyongyang could have been involved in Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile program, and that state-run trading companies may have assisted in critical aspects of Iran’s illicit nuclear-related activities.””

If America and its allies want to deal with North Korea, the Iranian advance accross Syria and its threat to the Israeli Golan must be taken into consideration.

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