By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation
North Korea may have supplied Hamas with weaponry ahead of the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, according to sources who spoke to South Korean news outlets.
Hamas killed over 1,400 Israelis and kidnapped over 1,000 civilians, including Americans, during a mass terrorist attack against Israel on Oct. 7. A number of the weapons used by Hamas during the conflict appear to have been manufactured in North Korea, which is suspected to be providing arms and tactical guidance to the terrorist group, according to VOA’s Korean Service and Yonhap News Agency.
“Hamas is believed to be directly or indirectly linked to North Korea in various areas, such as the weapons trade, tactical guidance and training,” a high-level South Korean military official anonymously told reporters, according to Yonhap. “There is a possibility that North Korea could use Hamas’ attack methods for a surprise invasion of South Korea.”
Akiva Tor, an Israeli diplomat in South Korea, said that North Korea sent weapons to Hamas prior to the Oct. 7 attacks, according to VOA. Tor also said that “there’s no question” that Iran was supporting Hamas’ attacks, though he “could not say” to the extent the country was involved.
“In Gaza, as it is the one which attacks us, they use North Korean weapons,” Tor told VOA. “It could be that these North Korean weapons have been in Iran for quite a long time.”
A photograph of Hamas weaponry captured by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) depicts what appears to be an F7 high-explosive rocket, which is manufactured in North Korea under another name. One military official who viewed the photo said that the rockets that are “identified [as] looking like North Korean in origin, look that way to me as well.”
“It appears likely that a considerable number of the weapons that Hamas has [been using came] from the North Koreans,” Bruce Bechtol, a former intelligence officer at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, told VOA.
Additionally, 122 mm artillery shells found near the Israeli border identified by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) appeared to be North Korean, as it bore the same “Bang-122” insignia on shells used by the North Korean military, Yonhap reported.
Hamas also employed tactics used by North Korea in the past, the anonymous South Korean military official told Yonhap. Hamas’ use of paragliders was similar to a military demonstration led by North Korean Kim Jon-un in 2016.
North Korea has called the allegations “groundless and false [rumors],” according to state outlet KCNA.