As US and North Korean officials laid the final groundwork for Tuesday’s summit meeting in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Iran urged its close ally in Pyongyang to exercise severe caution around American negotiators.
“We still look at Trump and the US behavior with pessimism and we cannot be optimistic about the US behavior,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Behram Qassemi said on Monday, in a reference to the US president’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA — the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran — on May 8.
“The Korean government should keep vigilant,” Qassemi said.
The Iranian and North Korean regimes have a history of nuclear and military cooperation stretching back to the 1980s. Both countries nuclear programs were assisted by the Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan, and have involved the sharing nuclear centrifuge technologies and expert personnel. In 2011, Iran and North Korea were reported to have agreed on a $100 million nuclear know-how exchange deal — a package that included a US-designed computer simulation program stolen by the North Koreans, MCNPX 2.6.0, that calculates to a high degree of precision whether a nuclear bomb will explode.