Lieberman warns of new 'axis of evil'

In Japan, FM says Pyongyang plotting to run arms to Hamas, Hizbullah.

By
May 12, 2010 10:30
2 minute read.
with Japanese PM

Lieberman Japan. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused North Korea on Wednesday of plotting to run arms to Hamas and Hizbullah, and said Pyongyang was part of a new “axis of evil” along with Syria and Iran.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Tokyo, Lieberman said, “This axis of evil that includes North Korea, Syria and Iran, it’s the biggest threat to the entire world – not to Israel, but to the entire world.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


He added that “we saw this kind of cooperation only two or maybe three months ago with the North Korean plane in Bangkok, with huge numbers of different weapons, with the intention to smuggle these weapons to Hamas and Hizbullah.”

On December 12, Thai authorities, acting on a tip from a foreign source, seized a cargo plane in Bangkok full of more than 40 tons of weaponry, including missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. The Thai Air Force said the plane had arrived from Pyongyang.

According to flight documents seized aboard the aircraft, the cargo was headed for Teheran, where officials denied they were trying to import weapons from North Korea. Iran is a prime supporter of Hamas and Hizbullah and has supplied both groups with weapons and training in the past.

Lieberman also told reporters that Israel was ready to begin direct negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions, and dismissed the need for so-called proximity talks.

“We have our experience, and we signed two peace agreements with our neighbors – with Jordan and Egypt – as a result of direct talks, not proximity talks,” he said.



On Tuesday, Lieberman met with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and spoke about Syrian-North Korean cooperation, which he said posed a threat to stability in the Middle East as well as Southeast Asia.

Lieberman told Hatoyama the cooperation was not based on economic interests, but on the the development of weapons of mass destruction and the smuggling of arms.
A source at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem would not comment on Wednesday on how Hatoyama had responded to Lieberman’s statements.

However, the source added that while the foreign minister had not presented the Japanese leader with documents or evidence showing that North Korea was plotting to run arms to Hamas or Hizbullah, his contentions had not been made lightly.

Hatoyama reportedly told Lieberman about the importance he saw in the advancement of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Lieberman invited Hatoyama to visit Israel and said Japan-Israel cooperation was important for the security and economy of the world, as well as the development of alternative energy.

Lieberman also expressed gratitude for Japan’s support of Israel’s acceptance this week to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and of the 1917 Balfour Declaration that called for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Related Content

August 15, 2018
US tensions with Turkey deepen amid standoff over detained pastor

By MICHAEL WILNER