North Korea's nuclear development activities have long been a source of international condemnation and nuclear war threats. North Korea carried its first successful nuclear test in 2006, while its nuclear programme started in the Soviet era with the construction of its first nuclear reactor in Yongbyon back in 1965. Pyongyang's latest nuclear test was in September 2016, and since then has ground-tested a new rocket engine and test-launched ballistic missiles by firing over sea. Those activities were followed by new UN sanctions on North Korea in November 2016, while the UN Security Council in February pressed to "redouble efforts" on enforcing the sanctions. At the time US President Donald Trump also said: "Obviously North Korea is a big, big problem and we will deal with that very strongly."
Saudi Arabia's crown prince has announced his country's readiness to develop nuclear weapons in the event that Iran heads in that direction. The kingdom has expressed alarm at what it views as creeping Iranian influence in the region and has stepped up its efforts to contain what it considers Iran's expansion through proxy conflicts and direct military engagement in Yemen. "Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible," Mohammad bin Salman, popularly known as MBS, told US broadcaster CBS in an interview set to air on Sunday. Bin Salman, 34, reiterated statements made earlier comparing Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to Adolf Hitler. "He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler, who wanted to expand at the time," the prince told CBS. "Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened.
"Iran is moving'very quickly' towards production of a nuclear bomb and could have a weapon within two years," the United Press International reported. The quote was published in a 1984 article headlined "'Ayatollah' bomb in production for Iran" but it might as well have been published today. For more than three decades Western politicians and the press have been claiming that Iran is a nuclear threat. Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres echoed this claim numerous times in the 1990s, warning that Iran would build an atomic bomb by the next decade. In the fall of 2012, Netanyahu declared at the United Nations General Assembly meeting - with his infamous bomb cartoon - that Iran would be able to build a nuclear weapon by June 2013.