North Korea has found itself entangled in Israel-Palestinian conflicts. North Korea has officially stated that it supports the Palestinian cause and also accused Israel of escalating conflict with Palestinian group Hamas. The article by Rodong Sinmun clearly states that “The international community calls the conflict the consequence of Israel’s ceaseless criminal actions against the people of Palestine. The fundamental solution is an independent Palestinian state.”
At the beginning of this conflict, it appeared like North Korea had military links with Hamas. Reporters were informed by a representative of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff that it seemed as though North Korea manufactured the high-explosive fragmentation rockets utilized in the October 7 attacks. However, the diplomat did not say if North Korea supplied the rockets directly or through agreements with other countries. According to the official, the JCS also hypothesized that artillery shells discovered close to the Israeli border following the assaults were exported from North Korea but it denied all the allegations.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said on Friday(13 0ctober 2023) that American media outlets were propagating “a groundless and false rumor” about the weaponry, despite North Korea’s denial that Hamas had utilized its weapons against Israel. Regardless of denial, on the 5th of November North Korea criticized the US for its military support for Israel, and Kim Jong Un, the country’s supreme leader, also ordered to find a way to support Palestinians, including by selling weapons to Middle East militant groups, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In an unexpected endorsement, senior Hamas official Ali Baraka commended Kim Jong Un, declaring him as the sole figure globally capable of launching a strike against the United States. Baraka’s praise was voiced during a recent interview with a Lebanese YouTube channel, Spot Shot, as reported by the Middle East Research Institute. According to Baraka, North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un, holds a unique position and might eventually intervene, emphasizing a potential alliance between the two nations.
According to Baraka, Russia maintains daily contact with Hamas, and a delegation from Hamas has visited Moscow and is scheduled to visit Beijing and Iran shortly. Although Iran is an ally of Hamas, it cannot strike America; if it chooses to intervene, it could target American bases in the region or Israel, provided that the US explicitly expands its intervention. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow of The Brookings Institution’s foreign policy department, on the other hand, stated, “I don’t take these comments very seriously because Kim Jong-Un is not going to risk his neck to help Hamas. Vice President David Maxwell of the Center for Asia Pacific Strategy told RFA that Pyongyang was decrying the United States of America through the Gaza war and that a joint attack by Hamas and North Korea was improbable. This, according to North Korea, “is part of its normal blackmail diplomacy.”
Although Pyongyang has little interest in the Hamas cause, it seeks to limit the United States by being the enemy’s friend, according to Patrick M. Cronin, the Asia-Pacific security chair at the Hudson Institute, who stated that North Korea’s cooperation with Hamas still constitutes a threat.
But the question raised here is this, Did North Korea help Hamas in the attack? It could be possible that North Korea assisted Hamas in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. As the photos from the conflict showed Hamas militants may be using North Korean weapons, including possible F-7 rocket-propelled grenades. But Bruce Bechtol, a professor at Angelo State University in Texas, who has researched North Korea’s arms sales said “Hamas using the F-7 for several years, this could be new supplies or from previous shipments going back as far as 2009,” and also added that might have received indirectly from Iran or Syria. The North’s official KCNA news agency called the claims of its weapons being used in the attacks “a groundless and false rumor”.
But soon on Nov. 5, North Korea openly criticized the United States for its military support for Israel and also ordered to find a way to support Palestinians, including by selling weapons to Middle East militant groups shows that North Korea might have helped Hamas on 7th October attack. The similar weapons, the doubts, taking an open stance, and Hamas’s official praises show that North Korea might have provided weapons and support in this devastating attack. North Korea wanted to challenge the power of the US, but individually it was unequal in power and tough challenge but now the Palestinian cause has brought many countries together to stand against the US (the hegemon). Maybe it was a joint plan by Hamas and North Korea, to create this chaos to ally with other countries against the US. The only way they might have considered to challenge US power was bandwagoning. This could be witnessed too that it is taking place as many states have raised voices for the cause of Palestinians and challenging the US. This might be soon let down by the US as it has its strategies but till now it (bandwagoning) is working.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.