David Frum

02.14.13

If North Korea Has the Bomb, So Does Iran

People watch a television broadcast reporting the North Korea's nuclear test at the Seoul Railway station on February 12, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) ()

Why, it's almost as if they form an axis or something!

Pyongyang’s nuclear program is the crown jewel of the North Korean state enterprise, a carefully guarded secret to which they have given only Iran access. Given how extensively the Iranian nuclear program has been penetrated by foreign intelligence services—which foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi openly admitted in 2010—the North Koreans surely understood they were taking an enormous risk by letting Iranians in the door. Whatever they’re getting from Iran in exchange—oil, money, or scientific cooperation on complicated issues—must be crucial. If Tehran has paid for access to Pyongyang’s program, it will also pay for a bomb. At this point, it could be only a matter of haggling over the price.