N. Korean envoy rejects report on Hamas using N. Korean arms as 'groundless'
North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday dismissed a recent report on the Hamas militant group's alleged use of North Korean weapons in its war against Israel as "groundless rumors."
Speaking at a UN General Assembly session, Ambassador Kim Song commented on the report by "some mass media belonging to the US administration," accusing Washington of seeking to shift the blame for the war in the Middle East to a third country.
Last week, the US-funded Voice of America cited Israeli Ambassador to South Korea Akiva Tor as saying that Israeli authorities know that North Korean-made weapons are in use by Hamas.
"Some Western countries are resorting to smear campaign against DPRK to forcibly link the Middle East crisis to us," he said, using the acronym for his country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"Some mass media belonging to the US administration are spreading groundless and false rumor that North Korea's weapon seems to be used for attack on Israel," he added.
He also claimed that the media are building public opinion that the North will use a "blackmail diplomacy" strategy to escalate tensions by taking advantage of the US' interest in the Middle East and Ukraine.
Expressing Pyongyang's "unwavering" support for Palestinians, the ambassador stressed that "some countries" are aggravating the situation in the Gaza Strip by backing Israel and its military operation -- an apparent reference to the US.
"My delegation firmly believes that the current crisis in the Gaza Strip must end immediately, and all civilians must be protected," he said.
Following the VOA report, Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the State Department, said Monday that the US opposes any country providing Hamas anything that it can use to carry out "terrorist activities." (Yonhap)