Threats of military assault from North Korea shouldn’t be taken lightly, and could be a cover for another rogue country, says U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.). Kirk says North Korea’s talk of restarting a nuclear reactor should be of concern because it would mean a steady supply of plutonium to North Korean dictators. But Kirk says there should also be concern that North Korea’s saber rattling could be a cover for Iran.
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“I have been very worried that the North Korean nuclear program is a cover for the Iranian nuclear program, that the Iranians have been testing components in North Korea with nuclear weapons,” said Kirk, an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserves. Kirk says he has raised his concerns to the president. “[I] raised this directly to the president and he said ‘good question, I’m going to get Donilon on it.’ Tom Donilon is his national security advisor. This is a question for the intelligence community to look at the relationship between these two countries,” Kirk said. While Kirk says North Korea has the capability to “cause widespread hardship” to South Korea, he says their weaponry is dated. “It was very much a 1950s Soviet military which has not done well against Israel or the United States. If you have equipment of that era, you are going to be blown away pretty quickly,” Kirk said. Kirk visited North Korea as a congressional staffer.
On Tuesday, North Korea threatened to bring a nuclear reactor online and Wednesday they have blocked South Koreans from entering a joint industrial complex that serves as a symbol of cooperation between North Korea and South Korea.