Pyongyang's test could prompt Iran to pull out of agreement, develop nuclear weapons

After North Korea's hydrogen bomb test, Israeli officials are warning that Iran may decide to go against the international community and develop nuclear weapons, which could lead to a serious nuclear arms race in the region.
Military parade in Iran Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

When North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb yesterday, the reclusive state's leader Kim Jong-un put an end to the arguments about his nuclear capabilities. Kim's hydrogen bomb, which is 20 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, is a serious threat to the United States, with the potential to cause widespread destruction along America's west coast.

Officials in Israel are very concerned about Kim's latest show of force. According to them, the Japanese and South Korean responses to the test have the potential to impact the situation in the Middle East. According to them, if Japan and South Korea enter the nuclear arms race in order to counter Pyongyang's growing strength, countries in the region will take notice.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) Photo Credit: EPA

The officials are claiming that if Iran sees that other countries are developing nuclear weapons, Tehran may try to break away from the nuclear agreement and develop nuclear weapons. North Korea's technology has already been passed along to Iran. In addition, Pyongyang has already tried to set up a nuclear plant in Syria in an attempt to establish a foothold in the Middle East.   

If Iran publicly joins the nuclear arms race, the officials warned, other countries in the Middle East- mainly Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey- will also seek to develop nuclear weapons. The Israeli officials are concerned about this possible series of events, which could end up changing the strategic balance of power in the region.  

This morning, the South Korean Defense Ministry announced that there is intelligence indicating that Pyongyang is preparing another intercontinental ballistic missile test. In addition, it was announced that four defense missile system batteries were placed south of Seoul Monday.

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