Iran Nuclear NewsTop NKorea official holds talks in Tehran

Top NKorea official holds talks in Tehran

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AFP: Iran Thursday said it was ready to step up cooperation and share technical know-how with fellow US foe North Korea, as a top official from the reclusive state held talks in Tehran, Iranian media reported. TEHRAN, May 10, 2007 (AFP) – Iran Thursday said it was ready to step up cooperation and share technical know-how with fellow US foe North Korea, as a top official from the reclusive state held talks in Tehran, Iranian media reported.

Iran’s Vice President Parviz Davoudi said there was “no limit” to expanding ties with Pyongyang after holding talks with North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il.

“Tehran sees no limit in expanding ties and cooperation with Pyongyang,” Davoudi was quoted as saying by the student ISNA news agency.

Iran “is ready to offer its achievements in different fields but especially the economy, infrastructure and technical services for the progress of North Korea,” he added.

Both Iran and North Korea were famously lumped by US President George W. Bush into an “Axis of Evil” although Pyongyang has in recent weeks been holding talks with US officials on a nuclear disarmament programme.

According to ISNA, Kim Yong Il said that “North Korea wants to use valuable Iranian experience in all fields, especially investment and construction.” He was later due to meet Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

No mention was made of the Iranian nuclear programme, which the United States says is aimed at making nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful and has vowed not to freeze its activities.

North Korea’s announcement of an atomic weapons test in October last year prompted Tehran to state that it wanted a “world free of nuclear weapons” although it did not explicitly condemn the move.

North Korea has robust ties with Iran and its officials are occasional visitors to the Islamic republic. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited Pyongyang when he was president in May 1989.

Western experts say that Iran’s longer range Shahab-3 missile is based on North Korean missile called the Nodong-1 but Tehran insists the technology is entirely homegrown.

North Korea has also denied reports that it has been lending assistance to Tehran for its nuclear programme.

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