Iran today denied South Korean and Japanese reports that its military personnel and missile experts were in North Korea participating in a planned launch of a long-term rocket and strengthening cooperation in missile and nuclear developments.
“The claim made regarding missile and nuclear cooperation (between Iran and North Korea) is baseless propaganda and they are trying to create fear so they can undermine our relations with others,” said Ramin Mehmanparast, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman. (IRNA, 11 December)
On Monday, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said a group of Iranian missile experts was in North Korea “offering technical assistance for the planned launch of a rocket which Pyongyang terms a peaceful mission.” (AFP, 11 December)
Earlier this month, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency had quoted a Western diplomatic source as saying Iran had stationed defense personnel in North Korea since October “to strengthen cooperation in missile and nuclear developments.” (AFP, 11 December)