Iran has stationed defense staff in North Korea since late October apparently to strengthen cooperation in missile and nuclear development, Reuters reported Sunday, December 2. The report, Japan’s Kyodo News agency came as North Korea said on Saturday it would carry out its second rocket launch of 2012 between December 10 and December 22, near the first anniversary of the death of young leader Kim Jong-un’s father. The Iranian mission, Kyodo said, is made up of four experts from Iran’s Ministry of Defense and firms close to it. It said they were staying at a military facility 53 miles from the North Korean border with China. North Korea has had close ties with Iran and the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate in science and technology earlier this year.