IRAN may have been secretly helping North Korea rapidly advance its nuclear weapons program, it has emerged.
The UK Foreign Office is investigating whether the secretive state has received help in developing this technology.
UK media site The Telegraph reported the British Government is looking at whether “current and former nuclear states” have been assisting Pyongyang in its nuclear ambitions. Iran is at the top of the suspects list.
North Korea claimed it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb ready to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on September 3.
This has led many to speculate North Korea has had help from at least one other country.
A Whitehall source told The Telegraph there is no way North Korean scientists could have got to this point by themselves.
“North Korean scientists are people of some ability, but clearly they’re not doing it entirely in a vacuum,” a government minister said.
International Security expert and Intelligence Studies and director of ANU’s Southeast Asia Institute Professor John Blaxland told news.com.au it was possible Iran has been helping Pyongyang.
“There have been stories circulating of Iranian technical support over a number of years and while this story is not easy to corroborate, it is certainly plausible,” he said.
“There has been collaboration over missile technology, but not to my knowledge over weapons design, for decades,” he said.