Axis, Schmaxis (6)

North Korea and Iran are cooperating in developing long-range missiles, the deputy director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said yesterday.

Army Brig. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly said during a speech that North Korea test fired a long-range Taepodong missile in July, and Iran is working on a space launcher that would help develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the U.S.

“Not only North Korea, but Iran has shown some significant developments in their [own] missile systems,” Gen. O’Reilly said in a speech to the George C. Marshall Institute.

“They are working in concert with the North Koreans,” he said. “They have made a claim that they are working towards developing a space launch capability, which also would give them an ICBM capability.”  [link]

I still can’t believe these two would ever cooperate against us.  I mean, the North Koreans are Sunnis, right?  Thankfully, an American missile defense system is progressing quickly despite withering attacks from its critics.  Those critics seem especially short-sighted now:

The United States is working on providing complete protection from North Korean missiles by the end of this year as it wraps up the second increment phase of its ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, a senior U.S. military official said Monday.

Brigadier General Patrick O’Reilly, deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency, said even a failed missile space launch by North Korea could threaten the U.S.

“One country which we are very interested in is North Korea,” he said at the National Press Club in a speech sponsored by the George C. Marshall Institute.

“As you can see, they (North Korea) both have success and failures,” he said, “but if they had a failure in these attempts, a failed space launch could likely return back to U.S. soil.”

“Therefore, our system looks at that, and it’s been developed to counter that.”


The BMD strategy had been to put an initial capability in the field between 2004 and 2005 to protect U.S. soil from North Korea and the Middle East, O’Reilly said. “And we did.”

“The next increment, the one we are working on today, provides complete protection of the U.S. from both North Korean and Middle East threats,” he said. His chart showed this phase was to be completed between 2006 and 2007.

The Army one-star general linked the North Korean missile program with that of Iran, saying the two countries “are working in concert.”

“Rogue states view ballistic missiles as a means for gaining or maintaining their own freedom of action and raising avenue,” his presentation chart said.

“North Korea uses missiles for coercion, intimidation and deterrence, and proliferates to other nations.”


  1. How well do China and Iran get along? Does Iran Islamic fundamentalism have any ties or ambitions to the western region of China that I vaguely remember hearing has some seperatist tendancies and a Muslim influence?

    A few years ago in a grad school class, a student from China was bad mouthing the Star Wars initiative and blah blah blah, and I mentioned I thought the western area of China had such trouble, and I wondered if China ever worried about Pakistan and Iran and such getting nukes and missiles — because those places are a hell of a lot closer to China than they are to the US.

    The other Chinese student in the class, the reasonable one, said she had never considered that.

    I know NK’s ICBM test in 1998 turned me into a full fledged supporter of Star Wars when I had been against it in the 1980s.


  2. ICBM missile defense might be Ronald Reagan’s greatest legacy.
    If any other past president had championed BMD, it would have died years ago. The man’s gravitas has protected it against Clinton’s depredations and GOP disinterest.
    Now successes have gotten to the point a useable system is imaginable in the near future.
    Just as ICBM technology is leaking from Russia and China to their respective client states.
    If the GOP had anyone with half the balls of Reagan, they would remind voters that it was Democrats that cooperated with Russia, China and others against BMD via policy statements, campaign oratory and congressional votes.


  3. Hmmm…if the norks announce a peaceful space launch and we shoot it down, would that be an act of war giving them a pretext for invasion?


  4. As soon as the boats starting hitting the beaches Malibu, I’ll give you an answer….

    (if you mean invading South Korea — it wouldn’t be much of a pretext, and there is about a 95% it would never happen, because Pyongyang wants to survive. It will not strike out like that unless it is about to collapse anyway —- or perhaps if the US bombed its nuclear facilities, and even there, I believe NK would try to pick a response that would not lead to full scale war….)