BEIRUT

World

N. Korea slams reports of arms deals with Hamas, Hezbollah

A handout picture released by the Israeli Army shows a missile on an intercepted ship in the Red Sea on March 5, 2014 carrying what Israeli military says was Iranian "advanced weaponry" bound for Palestinian militants in Gaza. AFP PHOTO / ISRAELI ARMY / HO

SEOUL: North Korea has denounced allegations that it supplied missiles to Hamas and material support to Hezbollah as "sheer fiction" and a "sinister" effort to link Pyongyang to Middle East disputes.

The rebuttal from the foreign ministry was carried in a statement late Monday by the North's official KCNA news agency.

It followed a weekend report by Britain's Daily Telegraph, citing Western security sources, that the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas had already made an initial cash down payment to secure additional missiles and communications equipment from North Korea.

That report came days after a US federal judge in Washington ruled that North Korea had provided advanced weaponry to the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon.

"This is utterly baseless sophism and sheer fiction let loose by the US to isolate (North Korea) internationally," the foreign ministry statement said.

"Lurking behind this propaganda is a sinister intention of the US to justify its criminal acts of backing Israel," it said, accusing Washington of seeking to stir up anti-Pyongyang sentiment by linking the North to the Middle East disputes.

Weapons exports are a crucial source of hard currency for North Korea, which is known to have long-standing arms trade links with Syria and Iran.

In 2009, a plane loaded with 35 tonnes of weapons from North Korea made an emergency landing in Bangkok, where it was impounded.

Security officials believe the flight was bound for Iran and that the arms were eventually destined for Hezbollah.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here