A new 'Axis of Evil?'

George Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union address, defined an "Axis of Evil" consisting of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea -- nations capable of providing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to Muslim jihadists.  With Iraq removed from the group, there may be evidence that it is being reconstituted with a new key member.

The World Tribune recently posted a troubling report out of Israel on a new strategic alliance taking shape affecting the security of the US and (even more probable) the future of Israel itself.

TEL AVIV - China, Iran and North Korea have established a strategic alliance that focuses on missile and nuclear development, according to a new report.

The report said that Beijing, Pyongyang and Teheran were helping each other in missile and nuclear programs. The report, titled "China, Iran and North Korea: A Triangular Strategic Alliance," by Israel's GLORIA Center said China and North Korea were the key suppliers of Scud-based ballistic missiles to Iran's military, the target of Western sanctions.

"This flurry of activities underscored the growing proliferation threats posed by DPRK [North Korea] assistance to Iran's missile capabilities, which has also led to collaboration in the nuclear realm," the report, published in the Middle East Review of International Affairs, said.

North Korea has long been associated with clandestine activities in the Middle East. including development of Iran's Shihab-series ballistic missiles and construction of an alleged plutonium production plant in Syria.  China has made little secret of its strategy of developing a strategic alliance with Iran as a means to counter American influence in the region. 

"Iran may also be a new pearl in China's maritime pearl necklace," the report said. "China is increasing its naval presence in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, with a call in December 2009 by Chinese Rear Adm. Yin Zhou to set up a permanent naval base in the Gulf of Aden."

The report did not discount the prospect that China would establish a permanent naval base in Iran. Ms. Yin, today a researcher with Jane's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Intelligence Center, said China could be offered a naval base at one of Iran's islands in the Gulf.

Because of this new alliance, few expect China to be of any real help in efforts to impose economic sanctions on Iran to slow or halt its nuclear program. -- sanctions that North Korea has clearly indicated it would ignore.

Regardless of UN sanctions, North Korea would continue to funnel weapons and technology to Iran, the report said. Ms. Lin said Iran has financed North Korean research and development of ballistic missiles and other strategic systems.

"Iran and DPRK have partnered closely on missile flight-testing, proxy testing of DPRK systems in Iran, and data exchanges," the report said. "Proxy testing in Iran of jointly developed missiles allowed DPRK to avoid sanctions after the September 1999 missile test moratorium while continuing its missile advances."

So, it appears a new "Axis of Evil " has formed making a mockery of the Obama policy of engaging in seeming never-ending talks predicated on admissions of American guilt for advancing aggressive programs to contain the threat of WMD in the hands of Muslim extremists.  Members of the new Axis sense American growing strategic weakness and are responding accordingly.

We should be most concerned with this development, and Israel should be very afraid.