N. Korea denies aiding Iran in nuclear capability

North Korea dismissed allegations it is cooperating with Iran in nuclear development, accusing Western media of spreading lies to damage the communist country's reputation. North Korea - which quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in early 2003 - conducted its first nuclear weapons test in October, drawing criticism from the international community and raising concerns about nuclear proliferation. On Wednesday, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said North Korea was helping Iran to prepare for its own underground test, possibly before the end of this year, citing an unidentified senior European defense official. The "assertion is nothing but a sheer lie and fabrication intended to tarnish the image of (North Korea) by charging it with nuclear proliferation," North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.