N. Korea slams US over 'Syria strike'

Newspaper quoted as calling alleged Israeli attack "grave crime that destroys regional peace."

September 24, 2007 13:04
1 minute read.
N. Korea slams US over 'Syria strike'

kim jong il 224 88. (photo credit: AP [file])

North Korea accused the US of defending Israel's recent alleged air strike against Syria, calling the strike a grave crime that undermines regional peace and stability, a South Korean news report said Monday. North Korea's criticism came after this month's reported IAF raid on unknown Syrian targets, over suspicions that North Korea might be providing nuclear assistance to Syria. "Israeli warplanes' intrusion into the territorial airspace of Syria and bomb-dropping are an outright violation of Syria's sovereignty and a grave crime that destroys regional peace and security," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the North's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper as saying. The North also claimed that the US had defended Israel's "brazen behavior" in allegedly launching the air strike, Yonhap said. North Korea's comments came days after it held high-level talks with Syria. The two countries, which deny the allegation of a secret nuclear connection, did not provide details of Pyongyang talks. Andrew Semmel, acting US deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, said earlier this month that North Koreans were in Syria, and that Syria might have had contacts with "secret suppliers" to obtain nuclear equipment. Semmel did not identify the suppliers. However, he said he could not exclude the possibility that a nuclear black-market network, run by the disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, could have been involved. Semmel's comments raised speculation that the alleged September 6 Israeli incursion into Syrian airspace had targeted a nuclear installation. US officials have said IAF warplanes struck a target. One US military officer said the strike was aimed at weapons being shipped to Hizbullah in Lebanon.

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