North Korea on Friday denied the allegations that the Palestinian militant group Hamas used weapons produced by the country for an unprecedented attack on Israel.
North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency, primarily targeting international audiences, published an article on the war titled "The current crisis in the Middle East portends a greater strategic setback for the United States."
The statement, authored by Ri Kwang-song, a commentator on international affairs, notably and explicitly refuted media reports and analyses claiming that Hamas used North Korea-made weapons, including 85mm F-7 surface-to-surface high-explosive fragmentation rockets, in its surprise attack on Israel that began on Saturday.
"What can not be overlooked is the recurring use of the United States resorting to its hackneyed and malicious plot and propaganda against the DPRK to forcibly link the recent Middle East crisis to us," the Korean-language statement read, referring to North Korea by the acronym of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The statement accused the US administration's state-affiliated media outlets and experts of "spreading the groundless conspiracy theory that 'North Korea-produced weaponry' was used in the attacks on Israel."
"Furthermore, they are disseminating unfounded opinions that we intend to capitalize on the US focus on the Middle East and Ukraine to increase tensions in the region through a 'coercive diplomacy strategy.'"
This is not the first instance of Hamas being observed using North Korean-manufactured weaponry in attacks against Israel. For instance, in May 2021, during armed confrontations with Israel, Hamas was reported to have employed F-7 rockets and a limited number of North Korean Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missiles, according to Orxy, a reputable military analysis website.
North Korea has a longstanding history of manufacturing and exporting weapons to the Middle East. To illustrate, as a case in point, North Korean weapons intercepted in Thailand back in 2009 were destined for Hamas.
In its statement, North Korea, which recognized Palestine as an independent state in 1988 but does not recognize Israel as a country, asserted that the US is the primary root of the ongoing conflict.
"The international community has concluded that the root cause of the occurrence of the situation is the US, which pursues the most reactionary policy toward the Middle East by openly harboring and supporting its ally that has illegitimately occupied Palestinian territory and callously violated the rights of the Palestinian people," read the statement.
North Korea additionally asserted that the Biden administration's diplomatic initiative to facilitate an agreement between longstanding rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia to establish diplomatic relations "has had the adverse effect of further complicating the resolution of the Palestinian issue."
Pyongyang claimed that the current war between Hamas and Israel "reveals the limitations of the US hegemonic strategy, which depends on strengthening relationships with allies and partner countries for the establishment of a 'rules-based international order.'"
"The ongoing Middle East crisis marks just the beginning of a new strategic setback that the US will need to put up with," the statement read.
"As the US attempts to undermine international justice and disrupt world peace and stability, the international determination to firmly respond will only intensify manyfold, and the US will pay the most grievous price."
- 안철수 “이준석 신당 성공 가능성 낮아…3가지 갖추지 못해“
- "KTX 꼭 타보고 싶다" 했던 김정은 "만족한 합의"…뭐길래
- 야당 29명 반란, 이재명 방탄 뚫렸다
- 한동훈, 체포안 설명 8분 넘기자…“짧게 합시다” “왜 이리 시끄럽냐”
- Half of young people struggling financially: Seoul
- FSS issues advisories to fisheries cooperatives federation for W50b investment loss
- 합의문도 없는 희한한 북·러 정상회담…결국 비즈니스 관계였나
- 야당 29명 반란, 이재명 방탄 뚫렸다