Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Eurasia Theatre: Tehran – Pyongyang – Beijing/Delhi – Vienna – Moscow; Proliferation Network – North Korea Constructs New Missile Test Bases to Increase Exports to Iran – China’s Massive Assistance Continues
Night Watch: PYONGYANG – The international ballistic missile network remains as busy as ever, making a mockery of efforts to curtail the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Reuters reports that Pyongyang is constructing more missile base launch facilities along its east coast and along its border with China. Their information comes from the South Korean think – tank the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), which released this report that stated, “The development of the Taepodong-2 is conducted jointly with Iran and it is possible China’s technology is used in the development of the Taepodong-2 engine.” An Iranian exile I met a year ago said that when he visited Tehran, in August 2001, there were a lot of Chinese technicians staying in the same hotel. He assumed they were working on weapons of mass destruction. [SWISSINFO]
Beijing-Pyongyang-Tehran. The IFANS report continues by saying this is part of the international network that includes Pakistan. North Korea has more than 1,000 missiles, of various ranges, in its inventory all of which are available for export and has been since Pyongyang sold Scud missiles to both Tehran and Baghdad in the 1980’s during the Iran/Iraq War 1980-88. Missile exports have long been the foundation of North Korea’s economy and obiously their ballistic missile test services to the Iran-China Axis continues. Regular readers of crossfirewar.com know that I have often stated that the reason Beijing never seriously took part in supporting anti-proliferation is because they want Tehran and the Jihad to weaken three of China’s rivals; the West-India-Russia. Beijing may actually hate the West even more than Tehran does.
It is no secret that at least one Iranian attended the North Korean missile tests on July 4. The IFANS report mentions that Pyongyang is not only involved in the weaponry “but also the technology.” I assume that means the guidance systems and engine. The Taepodong-2 is the basis of Iran’s development of its long-range missiles the Shehab-5 and 6, an extension of their medium-range Shehab-3/4. The Shehab – 3 has a range of 1,200 miles and I believe the 4 can approach 2,000 capable of reaching Vienna. It has also been reported Tehran is developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) called the Kosar.
More than a year ago, when Iran was completing tests on the Shehab-3, an Iranian official mentioned that when you get into ballistic missiles it is easy to add more stages. On paper and in theory that is true but based on the missile failure last month of the Taepodong-2 it is obvious that extending the range, not to mention accuracy, is easier said than done. The Taepodong-2 has a problem plagued history. In 2002 there was an explosion during the test of the China designed engine. During the test last month the failure was caused by the 1st stage booster not separating. This should not be surprising since Beijing has long been noted for cutting corners in its industrial production and not using the best materials. Advanced weaponry on the cheap, in order to maximize export profits, but with Tehran’s war-Jihad time-table and sense of immediacy this had to be viewed as a major disappointment and setback. It reduces what Tehran can do globally.
The IFANS report does say that the reason North Korea’s Scud based missile arsenal remains a threat is they have apparently “achieved leaping progress in terms of precision, high mobility and quick firing rates.” It remains to be seen if that progress can be exported to Iran before this year is over. Constucting new bases and improving reliability takes time. Tehran is aware that Moscow is definitely preparing for (f)allout war against them in order to reassert Moscow’s control over the energy strategic Caucasus-Caspian. Industrial assistance through Berlin should make certain Moscow is ready for full confrontation sooner than Tehran has completed its frantic, accident prone preparations. The secret war against North Korea and its exports, that was mentioned earlier this year, will hopefully cut off further exports.