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North Korea and Iran resume long

In this <strong></strong>April 15, 2017, file photo, navy personnel sit in front of a submarine-launched 'Pukguksong' ballistic missile as it is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. AP
In this April 15, 2017, file photo, navy personnel sit in front of a submarine-launched "Pukguksong" ballistic missile as it is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. AP

Iran and North Korea have resumed long-range missile cooperation in a project that includes the transfer of "critical parts," Reuters reported, citing an unnamed senior U.S. official.

The official did not offer detailed evidence on the joint work, but the remark reinforces speculation over the North's weapons proliferation activities amid its economic woes stemming from biting international sanctions.

"Iran and North Korea have resumed cooperation on a long-range missile project, including the transfer of critical parts," the official was quoted as saying in the report Sunday.

He declined to say when such joint work first began, stopped and then started again.

The official made the remarks as he explained that the U.S. on Monday will sanction more than two dozen people and entities involved in Iran's nuclear, missile and conventional arms based on the argument that Tehran wants nuclear weapons capability and delivery means.

The report on Iran-North Korea missile cooperation came as U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be stepping up pressure on the Islamic republic in an apparent move to appeal to pro-Israel voters ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Pyongyang has long been suspected of cooperating with Tehran in the development of ballistic missile and nuclear technologies, with rumors that Iran apparently purchased North Korean missiles decades ago.

Efforts to denuclearize the North have been stalled due to a deadlock in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, which has continued since the two countries' no-deal summit in Hanoi in February last year. (Yonhap)


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