The recent death of Kim Jung Il in North Korea and the current debate in the GOP primary over US aid to Israel gives new relevance to a historical event that ties the three countries together. According to this 1993 New York Times article the US stepped in and told Israel not to make a deal with North Korea which would have stopped North Korean shipment of nuclear missile technology to Iran.
An article titled, "Israel seeks to keep North Korea from aiding Iran" that appeared less than two months prior to the US intervention showed a North Korea that was desperate to end their isolation, "Officials here say the North Koreans have been eager negotiators, going so far as to offer to sell Israel a gold mine in their attempts to raise cash and ease their diplomatic isolation."
North Korea's willingness to participate in the deal shows that their own nuclear program may indeed be a desperate attempt at being legitimized and accepted by the West.
This portion of the article admits that Israel was taking direct orders from the US on their relationship with North Korea, "Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel met in Vienna with Secretary of State Warren Christopher, and asked for permission to resume contacts with North Korea in light of the latest shift by Pyongyang, Israeli officials said."
The first article ends with this, "With North Korea, the Israelis say, their goals are limited to preventing missile and nuclear-technology sales to Teheran (Iran), and they are not pursuing formal ties. 'It's a courtship with a very precise strategic aim,' the official said."
This deal could have paved the way for not only cutting off Iran but also Syria and Iraq from aquiring missile technology from North Korea that poses a threat to Israel.
Iran enjoys the protection of scud 1 missles primarily because of their relationship with the North Korean regime. This relationship began in 1985 and has continued to the present day.
The topic of US/Israel relations has surfaced repeatedly during the course of the current GOP primary. Rick Perry even mentioning the notion of making all foreign aid recipients justify the funds they receive, including Israel, caused an uproar from establishment conservatives. Ron Paul suggesting that the US government should end all foreign aid, including Israel, has lead many to dismiss him as a serious candidate.
The case for aid to Israel is often structured by establishment Republicans as doing what is best for our close ally Israel. But as we have learned from this example that is not always the case.
About the Author: Shaun Booth is editor of MilwaukeeStory.com.