North Korean Experts Attend Iranian Rocket Launch

North Korean experts were present at the launch of the Iranian rocket carrying a satellite in February, 2009. They also actively helped to create the rocket itself. As compensation, North Korean representatives received all the scientific and technical information regarding the launch that is used for improving North Korean rockets, reports the conservative Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun referring to a well informed source on the Korean Peninsular. According to the newspaper, North Korean experts have already been in Iran for a long time which gives a reason to state that Tehran and Pyongyang actively cooperate in the sphere of rocket construction.

It is also reported that after the test failure of North Korean rocket Taepodong-2 which flew a few seconds and exploded in July, 2006, Pyongyang communicated causes of the failure to Tehran and suggested possible improvement to the rocket model. However, the Iranian embassy in Tokyo strongly denied mass media allegations that some East-Asian countries helped Iran design, develop, construct and launch the satellite.

Iranian diplomats state that all of this is a result of exclusively domestic, Iranian technologies. South Korean experts found it difficult either to confirm or deny the Sankei Shimbun statement. In this regard, a local expert noted that "it will be possible to state anything regarding North Korea and Iran cooperation in the sphere of rocket technologies only when it is confirmed by other independent sources."