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Monday, August 21, 2006

Possible North Korean Nuclear Test Linked to Iranian Deadline?

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

When news broke Friday that North Korea may be preparing for an underground detonation of a nuclear device, the question that immediately arose in my mind was whether this was linked to Iran's self-imposed Aug. 22 deadline for providing a final answer about its nuclear development. Certainly the two countries have cooperated in the past. For example, I have previously blogged about Iran's purchase of missiles from North Korea.

It is entirely conceivable that these two items are unrelated. It's possible that North Korea isn't planning for an underground test at all: South Korean unification minister Lee Jong Seok has said that he hasn't "heard of a confirmation of concrete evidence that North Korea is preparing a nuclear test." But when this news broke about North Korea, I certainly hope that the thought of a possible connection to Iran's Aug. 22 deadline crossed the minds of our intelligence analysts, among others.
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