A North Korean delegation that traveled to Iran in April for secret meetings about nuclear technology spent much of its time working with an Iranian agency responsible for weaponizing the country’s nuclear program, according to an exiled Iranian opposition group.
Reports Thursday said that at least three North Korean delegations traveled to Iran in late April to help advance the country’s nuclear weapons program. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released additional information claiming that the North Koreans primarily worked with an Iranian agency tasked with “manufacturing interior parts of nuclear warhead.”
The NCRI’s claims sparked questions from reporters during the State Department’s daily briefing and forced the Obama administration to reveal it is looking into the reports.
Some has taken the NCRI claims as further proof of the extensive coordination between Tehran and Pyongyang on the nuclear front. In March, Iran was accused of housing illicit nuclear materials in North Korea to avoid detection by international inspectors.
The NCRI initially disclosed Thursday that based on sources inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a seven-person delegation of North Korean defense ministry officials travelled to Iran at the end of April.
“The delegates included nuclear experts, nuclear warhead experts, and experts in various elements of ballistic missiles including guidance systems,” the NCRI said, according to Reuters.
This was reported to be at least the third such meeting between high-level North Korean and Iranian officials. Another delegation is scheduled to be in Iran again in June, according to the NCRI, which in the past has revealed Iran’s clandestine nuclear enrichment facilities.