THE drab compound that houses the Iranian embassy in Pyongyang is the focus of intense scrutiny by diplomats and intelligence services who believe that North Korea is negotiating to sell the Iranians plutonium from its newly enlarged stockpile — a sale that would hand Tehran a rapid route to the atomic bomb.Ayein sham.
It would confound the international campaign to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions by restricting its ability to make bombs through the alternative method of enriching uranium.
The risk is viewed with such gravity in Washington that the United States has launched a concerted diplomatic and covert effort to prevent it, according to diplomats based in Pyongyang and Beijing.
The belief that Iran and North Korea are talking about plutonium stems from a recently reported offer of oil and gas from Tehran in exchange for nuclear technology.
The discovery by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2004 that North Korea had sold an estimated 1.7 tons of uranium to Libya established a precedent for the sale and showed how hard it is to stop, diplomats say.
Iran, North Korea, Juche-coupes, nukes