US-DPRK Tensions Escalate as They Support Opposing Sides in Two Dangerous Regional Conflicts

Kim Son-gyong, Vice Foreign Minister for International Organizations Picture | Russian Primorsky Korean Association Newspaper

SEOUL – In the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Hamas militants, North Korea has continued to criticize the US for supporting Israel. In an interview with North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister for International Organizations, Kim Son-gyong, asserted that the United States is an obstacle to international peace and security and should be expelled from the UN. 

In particular, he criticized the US for vetoing a proposed UN resolution for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza after Hamas launched a surprise attack in Israel that killed about 1,400 Israelis. The Israeli military’s counterattack has led to thousands of deaths in Gaza, so Kim criticized the US for “double standards” since the US condemned North Korea’s November 2023 satellite launch even though it didn’t kill anyone.

Adding to the criticism, North Korea’s “Korean Jurists Committee” accused the US of war crimes due to its military support of Israel, and argued that the US should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. 

North Korea’s support for Hamas

North Korea has supported Hamas in their fight against Israel. The country has also been accused of providing arms to the militant group, which North Korea has denied. 

However, a Hamas video and weapons seized by Israel show evidence to the contrary, as Hamas militants apparently used North Korean F-7 rocket-propelled grenades to attack Israel. N.R. Jenzen-Jones, a weapons expert who works as the director of the consultancy Armament Research Services, said “North Korea has long supported Palestinian militant groups, and North Korean arms have previously been documented amongst interdicted supplies.”

A senior Hamas official also called North Korea an ally that might eventually launch an attack on the US. North Korea and the US are now supporting opposite sides in two dangerous regional conflicts: the Russia-Ukraine War and Israel’s war against Hamas. As tensions continue to rise, the dangers of an escalating arms race are increasing rapidly.

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