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Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist,
author and a popular speaker. Born into a military
family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East
Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces
service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross
of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation
from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both
the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive
for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work,
at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is
based in large part on his extensive experience in
Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman.
[go to Cucullu index]
Iran and North Korea…
[Gordon Cucullu] 6/14/05
a year ago two able political-military analysts, former general
officers Paul Vallely and Tom McInerney, wrote about
a “web of terror” that crossed the artificial boundaries
of nation, movement, organization, ideology, or geographical
area. This concept of a vast network of deadly connections
was outlined in their excellent work, Endgame: The Blueprint
for Victory in the War on Terror. It was a startling concept
in large measure because the notion of such a deadly global
network is contrary to America’s cultural, organizational,
and political stereotypes.
are accustomed to labeling and categorizing: we like to say “a place for everything and everything in its
place.” Such artificial organization - by ideology, nation,
or locale - is dangerous when it obscures the reality of the
strategy and tactics that our country’s enemies use against
us. We ignored the Saddam-al Qaeda connection because we said
they couldn’t work together. One was sectarian the other
religious. We think that Shia and Sunni will not cooperate, that
Arabs and Europeans produce different breeds of terrorist, and
that non-Muslim Asians will have little or nothing to do with
Islamic countries or movements. All this is patent nonsense.
Unless we accept the reality of the situation and act accordingly,
we are in big trouble.
For the past
few months I have been completing a manuscript on these linkages – expanding upon the generals’ brilliant
web of terror concept - particularly in regard to North Korean
demarches to the Islamofascist world and into the Western Hemisphere.
The facts are that these linkages are much more extensive that
previously thought. It may – as in the Oil for Food scandal
in Iraq – take regime change and exposure of secret files
before we ever understand the incredibly complex, comprehensive
nature of the collaboration between and among these states, organizations,
and movements. Of one thing we can be absolutely certain: this
web of terror is bound together by a glue of total hatred directed
at America, at our freedoms, and at the culture of the West.
All terror masters are allied in that goal; they will settle
differences among themselves after we are defeated.
this deadly trend are the latest reports from Iran that detail
North Korea has supported Iran’s nuclear
weapons program. Again, because of our cultural blinders, we
have been reluctant to look much further east than Pakistan to
seek those who are assisting Iran with its nuclear R&D. Sure,
some observers say, we know that the North Koreans are there,
but because of the differences we minimize the effectiveness
of the collaboration. But think for a minute how ridiculous that
concept sounds. Who, for example, are our two most solid treaty
partners in Asia? Japan and South Korea share out geopolitical
goals and participate in joint defense projects. Why can we handily
bridge cultural gaps to produce credible results, but discount
the notion that our enemies are capable of doing something similar?
has a several-year old relationship with the mullah regime
that includes a technological spectrum of evil:
medium range missiles, nuclear weapons, poison gas, and warhead
guidance systems. It is possible, but not verified at this time,
that the Kim Jong Il regime is also using the mullah’s
Italian crime contacts to launder heroin. Regardless, the known
degree of cooperation is sufficiently serious to warrant concern.
A recent report cited in World News Daily, notes that reliable
intelligence sources have revealed that Iran has received plutonium
components from North Korea. Supposedly these components are
sufficient to allow Iran to assemble a plutonium-based nuclear
weapon. The CIA heard as far back as 1994 about a North Korea-Iran
plutonium connection but it was unverified until recently. That
seems an extraordinarily long time to verify such as essential
element of information, and is another indicator of how serious
our lack of human intelligence gathering capability is inside
both hostile countries.
reports coming out of Gadhafi’s Libya that North
Korea was a major supplier of partially processed uranium ore
to the dictator’s weapons program, we ought not be shocked
that Iran was in on the action also. According to Bill Gertz’s
Geostrategy Direct, President Bush was “stunned” by
the news that the North Korean plutonium supply had advanced
Iran’s program dramatically. Not to be unnecessarily redundant,
but these continual, repeated poor performances by CIA and State
intelligence services are singularly unhelpful to the president
and to the country. Drastic reform is overdue, especially at
Not to be
outdone by US agency ineptitude, UN atomic “watchdog” Mohamed
El Baradei issued a report – presumably from near Pluto
where he maintains a house – praising Iran for its announced
Wednesday decision “to continue suspension of its uranium
enrichment program.” The crack UN inspector – last
caught flatfooted over Libya’s announcement that it too
had a nuclear program – also congratulated Iran for continuing
talks with the “EU-3,” France, Germany, and the UK.
With this level of performance why would we need a tough ambassador
at the UN?
even more unpleasant in the region is the caution by the CIA
Iran “could immediately assemble several
nuclear warheads” for the mullah’s Shahab-3 intermediate
range missile [emphasis added]. And where did this mysterious
missile originate? From North Korea, of course. A series of reports
from as far back as the late 1980s (the tail end of the brutal
Iraq-Iran wars) tell that Iran has had serious interest in acquiring
medium and intermediate range missiles. Confirmed reports place
Iranian scientists and engineers inside North Korea in 1993 when
the Nodong class missile was first tested and unveiled. Disquieting
data provided by Iranian resistance members details extensive
cooperation between Iran and North Korea in warhead development.
class missile is simply Iran’s version of the
North Korean Nodong. With improvements the Shahab-3 is rated
at a 1,000 mile range with almost a one-ton payload. That is
a tweak in capability over the Nodong’s originally announced
800 mile range. Even more troubling is that Iran is working with
North Korea to extend missile capabilities into the Taepodong
class. This could double the range albeit with a smaller payload.
But how large does a nuclear warhead or a poison gas warhead
have to be to cause unacceptable casualties?
These latest revelations concerning the Iran-North Korea connection
raise extremely difficult diplomatic and political-military issues.
Further complicating the entire issue is that this is simply
one strand of the web of terror that must be addressed. Other
deadly connections stretch from Pyongyang across the globe to
Venezuela and to other Islamofascist or autocratic states like
Syria, Egypt, and Libya. These challenges are global in nature.
We must address them with global solutions that until now have
been lacking. tRO
about North Korea? Learn more in Gordon’s
best-selling book Separated
at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin became
the Evil Twin, Lyons Press available at bookstores now.
Gordon Cucullu 2005