The spy agency told South Korean lawmakers behind closed doors that Kim Jong-un had ordered North Korean officials to find ways to “comprehensively support Palestine.” According to the assessment of the intelligence service, the regime in the DPRK intends to sell weapons to Hamas and possibly other interested parties.
“It seems that North Korea is trying to take advantage of the war between Israel and Hamas in many ways,” said South Korean lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum, who was present at the briefing.
Last week, Israel’s ambassador to South Korea, Akiva Tor, said Jerusalem was aware of North Korean weapons used by Hamas. Footage of weapons seized by the Israeli military from Hamas militants shows a North Korean F-7 hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher (RPG), a shoulder-fired weapon typically used against armored vehicles. A manual was found among members of the terrorist group that advises how to use this weapon, and the F-7 can also be seen in official videos of militants published by Hamas.
North Korea’s UN envoy Kim Song dismissed reports that the DPRK was selling weapons to the Palestinian movement as “baseless and false rumours”. “Some Western countries are resorting to a smear campaign to forcefully associate the Middle East crisis with us,” he fumed.
Kim Song also, with a clear allusion to the US, accused “some countries” of worsening the situation in the Gaza Strip by supporting Israel and its military operations. At the same time, he expressed Pyongyang’s “unwavering” support for the Palestinians.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said last week that the Middle East crisis is a “tragedy entirely created by the United States” — without mentioning the October 7 terror attack by Hamas against Israel. “The international community must closely monitor the US madness, firmly condemn and oppose these dangerous and misguided efforts,” the agency wrote.
The effort to create an anti-American bloc
The Radio Free Asia station points out that the same calls to the international community, accusing the US of trying to escalate the conflict and criticizing Israel are also coming from Russia. After the start of the war in Ukraine and the imposition of international sanctions imposed on Russia, Moscow and Pyongyang became close allies against the “imperialist” US.
The DPRK supports Palestine and defines itself against Israel for a long time. In its official encyclopedia, North Korea describes the first Arab-Israeli conflict as a “war for justice and liberation” against the American and Israeli “occupiers”.
Analysts note that Pyongyang’s support for Hamas and the Palestinians is somewhat odd, given that the North Korean regime opposes religion and does not have close relations with most Middle Eastern countries, with the exception of Syria and Iran. “North Korea has long been pursuing a policy of strengthening the international anti-American bloc. Palestine or Hamas are just another partner in this effort,” says Oh Gjeong-seob, a senior analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification think tank.
“What could they provide? Soldiers, weapons, food or medical supplies would be useful, but the North Koreans don’t have much of that themselves,” Oh is skeptical that aid from the DPRK would have any meaning for Hamas. “Due to the severe sanctions imposed, she will not be able to provide support.”