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February 25, 2013

Iranian Observers Attended North Korea’s Nuclear Test

February 18, 2013

South Korean protesters burn an effigy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during an anti-North Korea rally denouncing the North’s nuclear test in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Image via Timothy W. Coleman

Reports released yesterday indicate that a top Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, traveled to North Korea to observe the country’s recent nuclear test. Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi is believed to be in charge of Iran’s effort to miniaturize a nuclear warhead so that it can be outfitted on a ballistic missile. It is rare for Iranian nuclear scientists to travel outside of Iran, especially given the numerous high-profile assassinations that have taken place over the years. The trip suggests close relations between Iran and North Korea, and raises the possibility of nuclear collaboration.

While Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi’s focus on miniaturization could be perceived to support North Korea’s claim that its recent test employed a new, advanced miniaturized nuclear device, LIGNET maintains there is a high probability that North Korea does not yet possess the technical capability to produce a miniaturized nuclear device. To read the LIGNET analysis on North Korea’s recent nuclear test, please visit North Korea: Nuclear Test Shows Limits of Chinese Influence.

To read more, please visit LIGNET.com

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