The Korea Times focuses in on the importance of North Korea's partnership with Iran in connection with the North's upcoming satellite launch, which is clearly meant to mask an illegal test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM. The paper notes the North
has twice tried to send a satellite into orbit but Western observers say both failed, most recently in 2009, when the third stage of its Unha-2 rocket failed to ignite, according to experts. It is suspected to roll out a modified version of that rocket for the launch this month.Yun Duk-min, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, said the North’s suspected missile cooperation with Tehran made success “highly likely” this time around, given Tehran’s 2009 launching of a satellite atop its Safir 2 rocket.“The two countries have worked closely together. This, in addition to the information that North Korea gained from its previous launches, makes it highly likely they will succeed this time,” he said over the phone.
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Foreign Confidential™ analysts believe that Iran has largely paid for Pyongyang's ICBM test, and that a delegation of Iranian military and intelligence officers and scientists and technicians will be on hand for the event, as they were for previous nuclear and missile tests (including test-firings of jointly developed, cargo vessel-based ballistic missile launch systems).
The North is expected to detonate a nuclear bomb or warhead following the missile launch. The explosion will occur sometime before the middle of July, analysts say.