DEBKAfile Special Report April 12, 2013, 9:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
North Korea has reportedly warned Japan that Tokyo would be the first target of a nuclear attack, in response to Japan’s orders to its armed forces to shoot down any North Korean missile that heads toward its territory. Japanese defense officials did not confirm their naval alert so as not to “show their cards” to North Korea. In Seoul Friday, April 12, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “We will stand with South Korea and Japan against these threats. And we will defend ourselves," he said.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 11, 2013, 10:34 AM (GMT+02:00)
US and South Korean armed forces went on the highest level of alert - Watchcon 2 - Thursday, April 11, ready for multiple launches after at least one North Korean ballistic Musudan missile was sighted fueled and ready to launch at any moment. Some Western intelligence sources attribute Pyongyang’s saber-rattling to a power struggle ongoing between Kim Jong-Un’s military backers and the generals who judge him unfit for the top command. He may order a missile launch to assert his authority against his detractors.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 5, 2013, 7:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran’s intercession in the Korean crisis on the side of its ally in Pyongyang was predictable, even while the US preferred to ignore their close interrelations. And so, on Friday, April 5, Deputy Chief of Iran's Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri stepped forward to point the finger at the US, saying: “The time for Washington’s bullying and extortion is long past.” His words came at the very moment that Iranian intransigence brought the latest six-power meeting on its nuclear program to its customary dead end.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2013, 12:42 AM (GMT+02:00)
Amid detailed coverage of Korean crisis through North Korean and American moves, important Chinese and Russian military movements are ignored. Moscow and China are unlikely to bring Kim Jong-Un to heel until Washington agrees to link the Korean case to its disputed policies on Iran and Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2013, 9:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
Obama pins his hopes on a free hand for Moscow and Tehran on Syria paying off in a recipe for Iran’s nuclear program. Jerusalem, Dubai and Riyadh see more dangerous US castles in the air.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 17, 2013, 1:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
The North Korean test of a “miniature nuclear device” capability, combined with Iran’s ability to launch a capsule with a monkey payload into orbit, add up to their having achieved a nuclear warhead capacity through shared technology. Officials in Jerusalem were dismayed to discover that, instead of cutting this menace short, members of President Barack Obama’s circle were studying a bizarre plan to appease Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by seeking UN Security Council endorsement for his nuclear fatwa.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 12, 2013, 1:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
US and Israel are aware that the North Korean nuclear test carried out Tuesday, Feb. 12, brings Iran that much closer to conducting a test of its own. Shortly before the test, Ahmadinejad’s boast that Iran will soon place a satellite in orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers - and Tehran’s claim to have sent a monkey into space – highlight the longstanding division of labor and pooling of knowledge between North Korea and Iran: the former focusing on nuclear armament and the latter on long-range missiles to deliver it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2012, 12:44 AM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow has answered the US Patriots in Turkey with the top-line Eskandar missiles for Syria for which the West has no answer. This compounded the bad news coming from Pyongyang of North Korea’s first successful long-range three-stage missile test. To neither does Obama seem to have an answer.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2012, 5:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
The 12,000-strong US-Arab special forces exercise, Eager Lion 2012, ending in Jordan Wednesday, May 30, broadened the orbit of international intervention in the Arab Revolt and preparations for war with Iran. The ground section took place near the Syrian border, while the marine section practiced landings on Aqaba beaches and mountain terrain resembling strategic sites in Iran. A Russian ship has meanwhile delivered heavy ammo to Syria, soon to be followed in Tartus port by the North Korean arms ship Odai.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 13, 2012, 11:28 PM (GMT+02:00)
In their different ways, the rulers of Iran, North Korea and Syria this week tried to throw US President Barack Obama off balance by exploiting the foreign policy balls he is juggling to win the November election – a combination of tough talk and maneuvers for staying clear of military confrontation. They will continue to try and throw the US off-balance by extreme provocations, especially at the nuclear talks starting in Istanbul Saturday, April 14, between Iran and six world powers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2012, 1:19 PM (GMT+02:00)
German and Japanese intelligence sources Monday, March 5, confirmed to debkafile that Western intelligence had known for 11 months that North Korea had carried out at least one covert underground nuclear test in 2010 on an Iranian radioactive bomb or nuclear warhead. Shortly after the first test in April, a large team of Iranian nuclear experts arrived in Pyongyang to prepare the second one in May, after which Iran transferred to the North Korean nuclear energy commission the sum of $55 million.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 19, 2011, 3:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
The sudden death of Kim Jong II of a heart attack aged 69, Monday, Dec. 19 confronts the world for the first time since the Cold War with a leaderless nuclear power about which it knows almost nothing. Though anointed heir, his youngest son Kim Jong-un is not expected to ride in without being challenged. The inevitable power struggle, which could be drawn out for years, may generate violence on and around the Peninsula and greater North Korean involvement in the Middle East nuclear race.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 17, 2011, 9:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran offers to slow uranium enrichment in stages in step with the lifting of sanctions. The Obama administration is listening - provided Iran ditches Assad. This exchange of messages was carried by Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki when he visited Washington this week. It was the main subject of President Barack Obama's talks with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Friday, Dec. 16. Israel is concerned that Iran has again contrived to buy time and leeway for completing its nuclear weapon program.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 10, 2011, 11:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
As Islamabad frets over a possible US raid to seize its nuclear arsenal, Moscow, with Beijing's support, steps in to woo Pakistan and back Iran against US punishment for its rogue progress towards a nuclear bomb.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 1, 2011, 10:44 AM (GMT+02:00)
US and South Korean intelligence experts strongly suspect that Iranian nuclear specialists visiting North Korea last month were putting their heads together with their hosts on a joint North Korean-Iranian nuclear test, especially since a small Iranian group was taken on a secret side-trip to North Korea's Punggye-ri testing site near the Chinese border for an extensive briefing. One source in Seoul reported the visitors had brought with them to Pyongyang a large sum of money, up to $150 million.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 30, 2010, 11:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel chalks up a victory in its secret war for delaying Iran's attainment of a nuclear bomb. Minister for Strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon noted: Iran is not currently able to make a nuclear bomb on its own - an oblique reference to the Stuxnet virus reportedly developed jointly with ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 2, 2010, 9:43 AM (GMT+02:00)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has quietly warned that North Korea is using its crisis with the South to cover up its planned transfer to Iran of nuclear weapons systems parts and extra-fast centrifuges for uranium enrichment that could help Tehran go into bomb production in the first half of 2011, debkafile's sources report. He has asked pro-Western Persian Gulf leaders to try and persuade President Barack Obama to take strong military action against North Korea to abort delilvery.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 23, 2010, 11:41 AM (GMT+02:00)
South Korea returned the fire after dozens of North Korean artillery shells killed two marines, injured 17 soldiers and three civilians on Yeonpyeong island near the tense Yellow Sea border. The island is being evacuated as fires rage out of control. South Korean leaders met in the presidential bunker in Seoul, having declared the highest non-wartime alert and warned of a stronger response. The White House strongly condemned the attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 28, 2010, 9:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
A North Korean shipment of 45 tons of yellowcake, enough for several nuclear bombs, was on its way to the nuclear plant under construction in northern