An Israeli security expert warned on Wednesday that Iran may have been involved in the North Korean nuclear weapons test, using Pyongyang’s facilities as a cover for their own program, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“The most disturbing question is whether the Iranians are using North Korea as a backdoor plan for their own nuclear program,” said Dr. Alon Levkowitz, coordinator of Bar-Ilan University’s Asian Studies Program and a member of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies.
“The Iranians didn’t carry out a nuclear test in Iran, but they may have done so in North Korea,” Levkowitz said. “There is no official information on this … but Iran may have bypassed inspections via North Korea.
If true, this is a very worrying development.”
Levkovitz added that Iranian scientists were present at two previous atomic tests in North Korea, and that “there is regular cooperation, since the 1980s, between North Korea and Iran.”
In April 2012, Iranian officials from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group observed a failed North Korean rocket launch, according to a report by the South Korean Yonhap news agency.
Although the two countries’ nuclear programs differ—North Korea’s is mostly plutonium-based, while Iran’s is a uranium bomb—there are suspicions that Iran is working on a secret plutonium track. Similarly, North Korea is also known to have enriched uranium, a process they have made much progress in, Levkowitz said.