PYONGYANG/SEOUL (The Thursday Times) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly directed his officials to extend support to Palestinians, a claim forwarded by South Korean intelligence. According to sources privvy to The Thursday Times, this backing could potentially include arms sales to Palestinian resistance causes in the region. Historical transactions include the sale of antitank rocket launchers to Hamas, with concerns now rising over further arms exports amidst the ongoing Gaza conflict.
The assertions came to light during a briefing by South Korea’s spy agency to lawmakers, following which it was revealed that images and footage from a recent attack on October 7 showed Hamas militants possibly utilising North Korean weaponry. However, Pyongyang has refuted such allegations, labeling them as baseless.
A recent statement from North Korea’s foreign ministry lambasted Israel for an alleged airstrike on a Gaza hospital on October 17, categorising it as a war crime patronised by the U.S. The statement, disseminated via the state-controlled KCNA news agency, further criticised the U.S. for its military backing to Israel, emphasising a recent deployment of aircraft carriers in the Middle East.
On the domestic front, Palestinian authorities and Arab nations have accused Israel of targeting the Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital earlier this month, a claim Israel denies, attributing the blast to a failed Hamas rocket launch. The exact casualties from the hospital explosion remain uncertain, with U.S. officials expressing high confidence that a misfired Palestinian rocket was the cause.
Moreover, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) during a private audit session with the parliamentary intelligence committee hinted at North Korea’s intention to offer “comprehensive assistance” to Palestine, specifically to Hamas in its struggle against Israel, as per Seoul-based Yonhap News. Israeli Ambassador to South Korea, Akiva Tor, acknowledged the use of North Korean arms by Hamas, a claim swiftly dismissed as “groundless rumors” by North Korea’s UN ambassador Kim Song, accusing the U.S. of diverting the blame for the Middle Eastern turmoil to a third country.