North Korea Denies Aiding Syria with Chemical Weapons

By Josh Smith

Quoting an official of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's Institute for American Studies, the Korea Central News Agency said the United States was perpetrating a "preposterous fabrication yet again".

The Times reports, "North Korean missile technicians have also been spotted working at known chemical weapons and missile facilities inside Syria, according to the report, which was written by a panel of experts who looked at North Korea's compliance with United Nations sanctions".

The notice also included five sanctions which would typically accompany such an announcement, including cutting foreign and financial aid, ending military support and export restrictions on sensitive goods.

The US has "egged the UNSC Sanctions Committee on" to claim a link between North Korea and Syria, the official said, adding that the allegation is created to build additional support for Washington's proposal for a "full-scale sea blockade" of the North and a "military invasion into Syria".

North Korea is also widely suspected of assassinating Kim Jong Nam - the half-brother of DPRK leader Kim Jong UN - with a deadly nerve agent in Malaysia previous year.

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In a statement in Pyongyang's government-run media on Thursday, North Korean Foreign Ministry officials dismissed recent reports that the regime has been providing Syria with materials used in the manufacturing of chemical weapons.

Secretary of state Rex Tillerson has previously referred to Pyongyang's use of chemical weapons, telling reporters in January: "We know they've been used by the North Koreans".

However, the United Nations report says otherwise and warns North Korea may still have experts operating inside Syria that are helping them to develop their weapons program.

This photo has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows injured people inside a Civil Defense van after airstrikes hit near Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

Local investigators found that Kim Jong Nam's face was smeared with VX by two women at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and several North Korean nationals were implicated in the case, though they managed to leave the country before they were arrested.

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