North Korea Possibly Involved in Hamas Attack on Israel: South Korean Military

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
October 18, 2023Asia & Pacific
North Korea Possibly Involved in Hamas Attack on Israel: South Korean Military
People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of North Korea's rocket launch at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, on May 31, 2023. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images)

The South Korean military has assessed that North Korea may have been involved in the recent attack by the Hamas terrorist organization on Israel, possibly through arms trade and transfer of tactics and doctrine.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in its interim evaluation of the Israel-Hamas war that North Korea appears to have a connection with Hamas and possibly contributed to its surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

“Our assessment of the situation has unveiled both direct and indirect ties between Hamas and North Korea, spanning various aspects, including arms trade, tactics, doctrine and training,” JCS said on Oct. 17, according to The Korea Herald.

“Hamas’ attack methods resemble the asymmetric attack pattern we anticipate from North Korea. Therefore, we presume that there is a possibility of North Korea transferring tactics and doctrine, as well as providing training support based on this observation,” it added.

NTD Photo
Fighters from the Hamas terrorist group use paragliders to train for landing in Israel in video footage released on Oct. 9, 2023. (Reuters/Screenshot via NTD)

Hamas militants reportedly used paragliding to breach the Gaza-Israel border during the attack, a method previously used by North Korea. In December 2016, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guided a paragliding exercise targeting South Korea’s presidential office, according to the report.

While there is no evidence indicating a direct link between the North Korean regime and the Hamas terrorist group, JCS said North Korea could have indirect exchanges with Hamas.

“North Korea has substantial and active interactions with several Middle Eastern countries and various armed groups that have close relationships with Hamas,” a JCS official told a closed-door briefing. These countries include Iran and Syria, the official added.

JCS also found no concrete proof that North Korea had exported weapons to Hamas but that there have been reports of Hamas using North Korean weapons, such as F-7 rocket-propelled grenades.

“These findings indicate an ongoing pattern of North Korea exporting various weapons to Middle Eastern countries and armed groups,” the South Korean military stated.

Self-proclaimed weapons researcher War Noir posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, photos of rockets and machine guns allegedly captured by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), saying that among the weapons displayed were North Korean-made F-17 HE-Frag rockets.

European researchers Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer told Reuters that the F-7 is easily discernible from similar rocket-propelled grenades by the red band around the warhead. Such red bands are visible in photos shared by IDF and other social media accounts.

North Korean state media has previously denied allegations that Hamas was using its weapons, calling them “groundless” and “false rumor” spread by “reptile press bodies” and “quasi-experts” in the United States.

‘Hamas-Style Surprise Attack Tactics’

JCS said that it is possible that North Korea could employ “Hamas-style surprise attack tactics” against South Korea despite the differences in battlefield situations.

“While North Korea’s situation, terrain, and conditions may differ, and their combat capabilities are not identical, the country can certainly gain valuable insights and lessons from what has transpired,” a senior official told The Korea Herald.

NTD Photo
What the North Korean regime says is an intercontinental ballistic missile in a launching drill at the Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, on March 16, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has carried out more than 100 weapons tests, many of which have involved nuclear-capable missiles designed to strike the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

North Korea’s testing spree has forced the United States and South Korea to expand their drills, resume trilateral training involving Japan, and enhance “regular visibility” of U.S. strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula.

The growing military ties between North Korea and Russia also sparked concerns. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said Russia received over 1,000 containers of munitions from North Korea “in recent weeks.”

Nuclear envoys from the three nations held talks in Indonesia on Monday to discuss information sharing and response measures. They warned that North Korea would face “consequences” if it were to engage in military cooperation with Russia, according to South Korea’s foreign ministry.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Oct. 13 that North Korea is seeking advanced military technology from Russia in exchange for the deliveries.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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