ON-Lion Letter
"Clearly the dangers posed by North Korea reside not only in its arsenal, but in the precedents Pyongyang keeps setting for just how much a rogue regime can get away with in this era of receding American power," begins an April piece by Claudia Rosett on Forbes.com.  "As North Korea hones its missile reach and nuclear abilities -- while threatening to incinerate Seoul, Washington and U.S. bases in the Pacific -- it appears the limits of such behavior have yet to be discovered.  That spectacularly dangerous message is surely being read with interest by other anti-American regimes, especially by North Korea’s chief partner in proliferation, Iran."

Rosett is a Journalist-in-Residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C., and heads its Investigative Reporting Project, which is supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

"Iran's interest in the North Korean playbook goes back some three decades, to the early days of the Islamic Republic," she continues.  "It extends beyond a shared interest in military hardware, to a mutually reinforcing policy of threatening the U.S.  A signal event in this relationship took place in 1989, shortly after the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which North Korea supplied weapons, including knock-offs of Soviet Scud missiles, to Iran.

"North Korea is being discussed hither and yon as a nuclear power -- bizarre and opaque, to be sure -- but a force to be reckoned with," Rosett concludes.  "Tehran, with its bomb program, is surely studying the scene."

"Where is this going?  Twenty years ago, when America had just won the Cold War, there was a lot of talk about the shaping of a new world order, full of hope that peace and freedom would unfurl around the globe.  That period is now looking like prelude to a darkening 21st century, in which the likes of North Korea and Iran are pioneering a very different set of rules."
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