South Korea Asks Iran for Help with North Korean Nuclear Problem

AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi
AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has asked Iran to help convince North Korea to cooperate with U.N. Security Council resolutions for nuclear disarmament.

As Rudaw News notes, “Tehran and Pyongyang are allies, and it is suspected they have worked together to develop weapons technology.”

Park hoped that Tehran would take advantage of that “lengthy, close relationship” to pressure North Korea on disarmament.

“Iran seeks peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and is against the production of any types of weapons of mass destruction. We want a world free from weapons of mass destruction, especially in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East,” responded Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, at a joint press conference with Park in Tehran.

Park traveled to Iran with about 230 business executives and several of her ministers to negotiate trade and energy deals worth as much as $10 billion, according to an al-Jazeera report.

South Korea was a major importer of Iranian oil before nuclear-related sanctions were imposed. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Iran’s exports of oil and condensates to South Korea have already almost tripled since sanctions were removed in mid-January.”

The Journal notes that Iran also gains from “investment by Korean companies in areas such as infrastructure and banking.”

Rudaw quotes South Korean media reports that said that “Seoul wants to have strong connections with Iran as they hope for a Middle East economic boom.”