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On March 5, DEBKAfile posted an article confirming an article in the German Der Spiegel and Welt am Sonntag that Western intelligence had known for eleven months that at least one of North Korea’s covert nuclear tests in 2010 was carried out on an Iranian radioactive bomb or nuclear warhead.
The article lists five facts that we are sure of:
1. In April and May North Korea conducted two covert underground nuclear explosions equivalent to 50- 200 tonnes of TNT.
2. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBOTO) monitoring stations in South Korea, Japan and Russia detected highly lethal heavy hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium.
The third fact according to the article:
3. The presence of tritium in one of the tests led several intelligence agencies watching North Korea’s nuclear program and its longstanding links with Iran and Syria to examine the possibility that Pyongyang had tested the internal mechanism of a nuclear warhead on Iran’s behalf. This strongly indicated to German and Japanese intelligence that Iran had already developed the nuclear warhead’s outer shell and attained its weaponization.
4. There was also a possibility that North Korea had tested a ‘dirty bomb.’
5. There were three events that lead to the conclusion that this was testing of an Iranian device.
a. A group of Iranian nuclear scientists arrived in Pyongyang shortly after the first test in April, seemingly to be involved in setting up the second test.
b. Near the end of April Tehran shipped to Pyongyang a large quantity of uranium enriched to 20+ percent, apparently for the second test.
c. Right after the test in May Central Bank of Iran transferred $55 million to the account of the North Korean Atomic Energy Commission.
The article concludes:
It is not by chance that this incriminating disclosure about Iran’s nuclear achievements sees the light Monday, just hours before US Barack Obama receives Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the White house for an argument over an expeditious military action to stop Iran going all the way to a nuclear weapon.
The disclosure invalidates the main point the US President made in his speech Sunday to the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC convention in Washington that there was still time for diplomatic pressure and sanctions to bring Iran’s leaders to a decision to halt their nuclear momentum before military action was called for, whether by the US or Israel.
It now appears that Western intelligence has known about the North Korean tests for Iran for eleven months. Therefore, it is too late for him to try and persuade the Israeli prime minister that there is still time to spare for cutting short a nuclear Iran.
It was announced in Washington Monday that no joint American-Israeli communiqué would be issued at the end of their talks, meaning they will have agreed to disagree: Obama, to stand by his opposition to military action against Iran; Netanyahu, to decide what Israel must do in the interests of its security.
There is no doubt he would have preferred an American initiative for – or partnership in – an operation for curtailing the Iranian nuclear threat. But that is not part of Obama’s policy.
When was the American Media going to get around to mentioning this? It does seem rather important.