There is much about the Korean reportedly successful launch of a three stage ballistic rocket which placed a satellite into orbit that much of the news reporting has been omitting. There has also been a slight misdirection of faint praise lauded on the North Korean rocket scientists for overcoming their previous problems which had caused numerous previous failed launches. I can assure you that as supposedly talented and innovative the North Korean scientists may be, they had another group of rocket scientists whose experience and knowledge they tapped in overcoming their previous shortcomings, the Iranian rocket scientists. What has been not actually a guarded secret, but has been only minimally mentioned, the North Koreans and the Iranians entered an agreement a number of years ago as a response to both countries having similar aims and under similar world sanctions. Since then they have shared jointly all research into building rocketry with an aim at developing a useable ICBM and the nuclear device to place on top of it. Under this agreement each country’s scientists work on a particular problem and then share their results so that both teams can move forward. This has allowed for an accelerated pace of advancing their research and knowledge as this method removes redundancies and allows virtually all research to be accomplished by one team but benefit both programs. From what we have been able to discern the Iranian area of specialty has been the development of rocketry while the North Koreans have spearheaded the nuclear weaponry side of the equation. This may have been partially the reason behind the Parchin Military Base being decommissioned and destroyed and cleansed as the North Koreans had already finished research and designing the necessary explosive charges necessary in a high yield nuclear device.
So, when evaluating the ramifications of the North Korean missile test and its relative success, one has to figure that this was actually a dual success with Iran as a mutual winner besides the North Koreans. The North Koreans gaining the ability to launch a three stage rocket and place a satellite into orbit now an ability which we need to grant to the Iranians. The only solace we can take from this accomplishment is that the satellite the North Koreans placed into orbit was apparently tumbling and as such completely useless and would also not allow for a stable placement of a warhead. Mind you, taking much solace from this fact may prove to be a short lived comfort as this little difficulty will probably not take very long to correct and then the North Koreans and their allies, the Iranians, will have pretty much a fully functioning ICBM. We already know that both countries have fully functioning CBMs with sufficient range to make many countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and much of Europe nervous and easily within range of these missiles. The Iranian Shahab series of missiles appear to me mostly exact copies of the North Korean Nodong missiles. So, we can now assess that both Iran and North Korea have the basic plans for ballistic missiles and at least a rudimentary nuclear weapon as well as very possibly a nuclear triggered EMP device. That sure is a comforting set of thoughts for the holidays, well, not exactly.
The most troubling fact about this entire North Korean launch is that the sanctions in place on North Korea, sanctions considered to be even more all-encompassing and strict than those on Iran, has not deterred the North Koreans from moving ahead with their nuclear and rocket programs. With this knowledge, exactly how much faith can anybody be expected to place on President Obama’s statements that we need to give sanctions a chance to work on Iran. Really now, wait for the lesser sanctions on Iran to cripple Iran while more stringent sanctions have had little effect in slowing North Korea from their nuclear or their missile development. The people in Iran are suffering under the sanctions despite efforts by Turkey, India, China and other allies and friends who get exemptions or find other ways around the sanctions and are providing some amount of relief from the sanctions. This has not allowed Iran to completely avoid the restrictions and difficulties sanctions are supposed to apply but these transactions have allowed at least some funds and relief. The most important and critical piece of information from this mostly successful launch by the North Koreans is the nearly total uselessness of sanctions against a dedicated, military, faux-electoral dictatorship at preventing military and WMD development. This is total proof that Israel has been correct all along stating that sanctions will not be sufficient in preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons capabilities. Whatever else you take from these pieces of information, the one most important is that United States President Obama is completely in the tank depending on sanctions and will not resort to a military option unless there is no other choice and the American people actually call for such actions universally. President Obama does not realize the full ramifications of the Iranians going nuclear and never will. He has a permanent blind spot that forces him to disregard and oppose anything that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu mentions. Now we just have to figure out how the world can survive and go ahead once Iran has nuclear weapons and can apply nuclear terrorism using Hezballah, Hamas, the IRGC and all the rest of their terror proxies. Such a world will not be a good place, not a good place at all. Sometimes one really wishes they could find a Hobbit hole and settle down to some real peace and comfort.
Beyond the Cusp