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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Hamas using North Korean weapons – Seoul

South Korean intelligence agents claim the Palestinian militants have sourced rocket-propelled grenades from Pyongyang

South Korean spies have accused North Korea of providing weapons to Hamas, but claim that supporting evidence is “difficult to provide.” The US has made similar accusations before, which Pyongyang denies.

Seoul’s main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), released a photograph on Monday of a North Korean F-7 rocket-propelled grenade, purportedly used by Hamas in its war against Israel. The agency also claimed that a picture of an F-7 rocket shared last week by US state news outlet Voice of America was genuine.

Read more: Hamas deputy killed in Beirut blast

The NIS did not explain how the rocket ended up in Gaza. The agency said it had collected “specific evidence regarding the scale and timing of North Korea’s supply of weapons to Hamas and others,” but that it is “currently difficult to provide such evidence due to the need to protect information sources and in consideration of diplomatic ties,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

The accusations are not new. Within days of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, South Korean, American and Israeli sources told Western media outlets that the Palestinian militants had used North Korean weapons.

Pyongyang dismissed these reports as “groundless.” An editorial published by state-run KCNA news agency at the time asserted that the “reptile press” of the US was spreading false rumors in order to “shift the blame for the Middle East crisis caused by [Washington’s] hegemonic policy.”

Read more: Hamas Rejects Israeli Offer for Ceasefire in Exchange for Captives

North Korea has also been accused of supplying Russia with arms used in Ukraine. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed last week that Russian forces had used North Korean ballistic missiles in a barrage on targets in Ukraine last month. Moscow has denied sourcing any weapons from Pyongyang.