Military Review

Rogue partnership

Rogue partnershipIran and North Korea are the constant and most prominent heroes of modern international relations. History rogue relations of the Western world is long and rich. The “axis of evil” has outlived its most active opponents and is still alive.

However, the topic of the strategic partnership of these two countries is relatively poorly covered, in their opposition to the modern international order. But the history of this cooperation has almost 30 years!

What is so common in Pyongyang and Tehran?

The first thing that unites them is their main direct military, political and ideological opponent - the United States.

The second is that both countries, in their ideology, are committed to “maximum independence and self-sufficiency”. Moreover, these two societies are relatively closed ideocratic formations. Therefore, their hostility to current global trends is, in general, logical.

Thirdly, the dominant official ideological attitudes in their self-identification are determined by the "colonial syndrome".

The fourth is the independence of foreign and domestic policy. Even during the Cold War, both countries already showed a high degree of independence in foreign policy. The DPRK was a friendly state to the USSR, but it was impossible to call it a truly loyal and controlled ally.

Back in those years, the Juche idea was positioned as an alternative to both Western imperialism and the Soviet model. The situation is similar with Iran. Suffice it to recall that Khomeini compared the United States with the "big devil," and the USSR with the "little devil." Well, Marxism-Leninism in the works of Khomeini is generally called "godless heresy."

Thus, the joint struggle for individual military-political independence for both regimes was more profitable than actions alone. And it began in the 1980-e years.

Dashing 1980-e

Immediately after the Islamic revolution 1979, Iran was in foreign policy isolation. The war with Iraq, which began in 1980, forced Tehran to urgently look for suppliers of weapons, ammunition and medicines. Here Pyongyang was the perfect partner.

First, the DPRK independently produced a wide range of various weapons and military equipment: from small arms weapons to powerful rocket systems.

Secondly, the DPRK’s military exports were not controlled by either the United States or the USSR — this allowed Pyongyang to be used as a fairly reliable and predictable supplier.

Thirdly, North Korea experienced a chronic shortage of foreign exchange and energy, and Iran could offer both.

Fourthly, North Korean products were not too expensive.

Since 1983, Iran has begun to receive a variety of weapons and military equipment from North Korea. Before the end of the war with Iraq, Tehran received from the DPRK: Tanks T-62, self-propelled artillery mounts with a caliber of 170 mm, heavy salvo systems with a caliber of 240 mm, local copies of Soviet field guns and howitzers with a caliber of 122 mm and 130 mm and so on.

However, Iran’s needs were not limited to purely military goods. So, Tehran also widely distributed medicines. However, the procurement of ballistic missiles in the DPRK became a real breakthrough in bilateral cooperation. Iran became the first foreign buyer of this type of local military products. Cooperation in the field of rocket technology turned out to be the most successful area of ​​partnership [1].

Iraq its short-range ballistic missiles Р-17 (in the world media they are often called the common word SCUD) acquired in the Soviet Union. North Korea, on the other hand, purchased two similar missile systems in Egypt and then copied Soviet missiles.

Tehran paid the price mainly for oil supplies. Moreover, the scale of these supplies were impressive.

The role of Iran as an energy supplier for North Korea at the turn of the 80-90-s is widely underestimated. It is usually claimed that the collapse of the USSR and the subsequent cessation of the supply of oil and oil products became the only reason for the energy and food disaster in the country. However, at the end of 1980-x– the beginning of 1990-s, the role of the USSR was not so irreplaceable.

The cessation of the Iraqi-Iranian war and, accordingly, the reduction of the scale of military imports by Iran hit the DPRK's fuel balance much more than Perestroika and the collapse of the USSR. Just look at the numbers.

In 1989, the DPRK imported 2650 thousand tons of oil. The USSR delivered a total of 500 thousand tons, but Iran 920 thousand tons. In 1990, the difference became even more pronounced: 410 thousand tons and 980 thousand tons, respectively. Aggregate imports amounted to 2450 thousand tons. That is, in the 1989-1990 years, Pyongyang depended on oil supplies from Iran more than on supplies from the USSR!

And then came the 1991 year. This year the USSR ceased to exist. But deliveries from Iran have also stopped. The war with Iraq ended in 1988, and three years later the oil payment of the main large quantities of weapons delivered earlier (in the war years) was completed. Iran has delivered total 220 thousand tons of oil this year. That is, because of the collapse of the USSR, Pyongyang missed 410 thousand tons of oil (relative to last year), but the drop in Iranian supplies amounted to as much as 760 thousand tons.

So the reduction of Iran’s military imports turned out to be a factor for the emergence of the North Korean 1990 disaster not less significant than the collapse of the socialist camp.

Cheerful starts

The war in the Persian Gulf, which had died down in 1991, again raised the value of Pyongyang for the "enemies of America", to which Tehran belonged.

Iraqi ballistic missiles turned out to be the only weapon that at least somehow reached the American troops and objects in the region. Iran quickly took note of this experience. And the only country that could really seriously help Iran increase its capabilities in this area was North Korea. Therefore, the Iranians began to attract far greater resources both to their missile program and to cooperation with the DPRK in this area.

Cooperation went in several directions, over the years changing accents.

1. Import of finished ballistic missiles. Iran imported first short-range ballistic missiles, and then medium-range missiles.

2. The import of components and the establishment of production of missiles from them are already in Iran. Figuratively, "screwdriver assembly." In this case, North Korean specialists were also involved in the construction of production facilities in Iran. Here, too, first there were short-range missiles, then medium-range.

3. Establishment of production of rocket parts and assemblies in the territory of Iran itself.

4. Joint development and production of new missile systems. Helping each other in the search for new rocket technologies in foreign markets. In 1990, the role of the main design bureau unconditionally belonged to Pyongyang. Tehran also took on the financial side of the issue.

Separately, both countries would not have been able to create such serious arsenals of missile weapons by the middle of the 2000s. Moreover, they are sufficient to be a real threat to the American forces and their allies in their regions.

The DPRK did not have access to the world market for civilian technologies and materials, and also experienced tremendous difficulties with access to foreign currency. Iran did not have adequate technological potential. However, together they had both. Over the 1990-e and 2000-ies, both countries acquired fully efficient medium-range ballistic missiles and in fact brought their rocket industries to a new level.

Our days

It was these successes that predetermined American nervousness about the capabilities of national and regional missile defense. It's enough to look at the dynamics. For example, in 1991, not a single prospective US military opponent (outside the UN Security Council) had medium-range ballistic missiles. In 2013, two direct adversaries possess such missiles - this is Iran and the DPRK.

In 1991, not a single regional adversary of the United States from the Third World had its own missiles capable of putting a payload into orbit. In 2013, both Iran and the DPRK are members of the "space club".

However, ballistic missiles themselves are not a strong argument. They are the trump card if they are equipped with nuclear warheads. Of these two opponents of the United States, both are the epicenter of international non-proliferation crises. Moreover, the DPRK has already conducted three nuclear tests, and Iran has mastered the technology of uranium enrichment.

It is obvious that Pyongyang and Tehran are actively cooperating in the nuclear sphere, although there is very little confirmed concreteness here. But out of the view of the media, another important aspect often disappears. In recent years, deep cooperation in the field of military technologies has again expanded to the field of conventional weapons.

Both countries have similar problems with their military capabilities.

First, the inability to effectively cover its territory from a full-scale American air offensive.

Secondly, there are serious limitations on the ability to solve many of their problems by importing certain systems. Both countries are under a variety of sanctions.

Thirdly, the need to create a variety of asymmetric solutions to the problem of the enormous superiority of the enemy in technology.

Therefore, in recent years with the naked eye it is noticeable that the Iranians in every way attract North Korean technology and ideas to their service. Primarily in the field of war at sea. This ultra-small submarines, similar to the North Korean. And unobtrusive high-speed strike boats, which are also copied from their North Korean counterparts. Analysis of their available images in general has become similar to the game "find at least a few differences."

Also in two countries, apparently, there is cooperation in the field of creating a new generation of air defense systems. Practically at the same time, work on new anti-aircraft missile systems began there and there! Testing of such systems in both countries is regularly reported. Judging by the fact that C-300 is called a source of inspiration for systems both there and there, cooperation in general is predetermined [2].

Iranian strategic sites are also becoming increasingly similar to North Korean. Primarily due to the increasing deepening of the earth. Considering that at one time, North Korean engineers helped with the fortification of Hezbollah, whose ears stick out of it, obviously.

What conclusions can be drawn from all this?

First, the United States is opposed not by two separate countries, but by a completely real military-political alliance. The key feature is the presence of full-scale and long-term military-technical cooperation in various fields. And not only foreign policy declarations.

Secondly, a US war against one of these countries will be a perfectly suitable training ground for practicing war against another. The structure of offensive and defensive potential here and there every year becomes more and more the same. And therefore the only experience of dealing with one will be relevant in another case.

Thirdly, the death of one of these regimes will significantly reduce the chances of the other to preserve in the foreseeable future. That is why the American military operation against Iran or the internal revolution in the future significantly strengthens the American capabilities in Northeast Asia.

Fourth, the successes of Iran and the DPRK in the field of rocket technology will continue. This, combined with the American concept of “One Gate War”, makes the creation of a global missile defense system inevitable. The creation in the DPRK or Iran of intermediate-range or long-range combat missiles means only one thing - the early acquisition of similar missiles by another country.

Given the physics of the trajectories of intercontinental missiles, in the case of firing Iran at the United States and the EU, some of the missiles can fly over the territories of Eastern Europe and Russia. More precisely, such options are completely physically permissible and technically feasible, but the reverse is impossible to guarantee.

Of course, the American work on missile defense is explained not only by the activities of the DPRK and Iran. The long-term goal is obvious - in the long term to create a system capable of limiting the Russian and Chinese nuclear missile capabilities. However, Iran and the DPRK are unlikely to agree to exchange their prestige and security for comfort for the foreign policy of Russia and China. So, the disassembly of Moscow and Beijing with Washington will not go anywhere.

Fifth, considering all of the above, we can even say that the partnership of the DPRK and Iran in their opposition to the United States has already become an important factor on a global scale.

[1] Bermudez Joseph S. Development of the DPRK. 1999.
[2] Iran has announced progress in developing a counterpart to the Russian C-300 air defense system;
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  1. Tartary
    Tartary April 6 2013 06: 53 New
    Comrade Kim Il Sung - captain of the Soviet Army, lived at one time in the USSR in the village. Vyatskoe, where the 88th brigade was based ...
    There his wife died and was buried, who bore him two sons, one of whom later died in the village. Vyatsky, Khabarovsk region, Khabarovsk region, and the second -
    Yuri Irsenovich Kim - as it was written in Russian in his birth certificate - in February 1941 in the village of Vyatskoye, Khabarovsk Territory. Father - a cadet of the Khabarovsk Infantry School, Kim Il Sung. Here, in Vyatskoye, the future marshal spent his childhood. By that time, his father had become the captain and battalion commander of the 88th Separate Rifle Brigade, formed mainly from Korean and Chinese partisans who fled from the Japanese to the USSR.

    So, comrade Kim Jong-in is essentially the son of the son of a Soviet Korean officer of the SA and, accordingly, may have a Russian mentality or character - whatever you call it ...
    I think that the guy's eggs are "big and strong", like their ancestors ...
  2. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 06: 59 New
    How scary to live ... laughing
    But seriously, this is a very interesting article. I would also like to know if there is cooperation between the two countries in the nuclear field?
    1. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg April 6 2013 13: 35 New
      And why do you think in Korea the last was a test of a uranium bomb and not a plutonium bomb like that?
  3. Fox
    Fox April 6 2013 07: 02 New
    The article is interesting. But what kind of shit did the "Russian" media begin to raise about North Korea. And every day more and more. Why would it be?
    1. Volkhov
      Volkhov April 6 2013 10: 47 New
      It is your business, as a security officer, to unravel the geography of the "three pines" - the facts are full, try to comprehend.
      The article shows only a piece of a dinosaur - 4 Reich, the provinces of which are Iran and the DPRK, respectively, the policy of which is being pursued. The Reich as an empire is connected by roads - in this case, underwater transportation, which was established in the 3rd Reich, and then developed to perfection. The Russian landing on the coast of Syria is dangerous for communications, therefore, in order to distract the Russian Federation from Syria, they demonstrate the possibility of capturing Primorye, which in turn will cut off the east and north from the country, violate "stability" and undermine the regime. Therefore, srach in the media.
      It is the submarines of the Reich, and not the motor boats of the "pirates" that have been looking for BODs and aircraft off the coast of Africa since 80 years.
    2. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg April 6 2013 13: 37 New
      Who wants to take part in the raking of the nuclear dump in the Far East? And the fact that it will happen is a fact, if the Americans do not dump from Korea, which of course is unlikely. IPhones, iPhones, and I don't want to lose positions ...
  4. Kolya
    Kolya April 6 2013 07: 30 New
    S. Korea and Iran work together beautifully. Clouds were gathering over Iran, and it was necessary to distract the aggressor, which S. Korea is doing successfully.
    1. amp
      amp April 6 2013 08: 16 New
      Yes, now talk of aggression against Iran has completely died down.
  5. amp
    amp April 6 2013 08: 15 New
    UK helps to make Iran an atomic bomb, Iran sells oil to UK.
  6. pinecone
    pinecone April 6 2013 09: 04 New
    Quote: amp
    Yes, now talk about aggression against Iran has completely died down

    During his recent visit to Israel, Obama once again vowed eternal and indestructible friendship between the two countries and promised that the United States does not rule out "any options" of action with respect to Iran.
  7. Romn
    Romn April 6 2013 09: 14 New
    Here comes the phrase - Salvation of the drowning, the work of the drowning hands themselves ...
    QWERTY April 6 2013 11: 22 New
    But remember the history, and these countries are not alien to us. Before the revolution there was such a post - the Russian military commandant of Tehran, and the father of the last shah of Iran valiantly fought in World War I with a German with the rank of colonel of the Russian army. And Korea asked to join our empire -It hurts the Japs got them. Genocidal, creatures. I was familiar with a dozen Koreans in life, almost all the great guys, well, maybe a couple of them are some kind of unclear. All balanced.
  9. knn54
    knn54 April 6 2013 11: 53 New
    Thanks to the Yankes and Co., only the presence of nuclear weapons is a guarantee of sovereignty in the modern world.
    PS Some of the 14 Iranians involved in the murder of 5 local nuclear physicists admitted that they were trained at the base near Tel Aviv. Russian scientists are also killed - for more details see -po-ustraneniiu
  10. elmi
    elmi April 6 2013 13: 29 New
    North Korea and Iran are worthy of respect, if only for the fact that they are not afraid of NATO and do not curry favor with the West, unlike many countries that have a powerful army and nuclear weapons. That's right, because their elite has nothing to lose: they have no foreign accounts, villas and children studying in the West, and so on. "The delights of Western life."