Iran has stationed defense staff in North Korea since late October apparently to strengthen cooperation in missile and nuclear development, Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported yesterday, citing a Western diplomatic source.
The report came as North Korea said on Saturday it would carry out its second rocket launch of this year between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22, near the first anniversary of the death of young leader Kim Jong-un’s father.
The Iranian mission, Kyodo said, is made up of four experts from Iran’s Ministry of Defense and firms close to it. Citing the source, it said they were staying at a military facility 85km from the North Korean border with China.
The two countries signed an agreement to cooperate in science and technology earlier this year.
North Korea has had close ties with Iran. Leaked US diplomatic cables from 2010 showed that US officials believe Iran has acquired ballistic missile parts from North Korea.