Korea denies Syria chemical weapons claim

Monday, 05 Mar, 2018

In the years that followed, Syria's declared stockpile of banned poison gasses was destroyed by global monitors.

The allegations follow new reports of chlorine being used by Syrian forces, which the government denies. The materials supplied include acid-resistant tiles, corrosion-resistant valves and pipes.

A United Nations report suggests North Korea has been shipping materials used to manufacture chemical weapons to the Syrian government. In a statement circulated by its diplomatic mission at the U.N.in NY, the North's foreign ministry said it "does not have a single record of developing, producing and stockpiling a chemical weapon". Those include use of an "incredibly sophisticated" network of shell companies, financial feints and cyber-sown diversions to evade sanctions, he said.

The US State Department also echoed Trump's assertions: "Our condition is denuclearization", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

In a meeting with North Korean General Kim Yong-chol Sunday, Moon also urged the North to engage in dialogue with the United States as soon as possible, to which Kim responded by saying the North was "very willing" to hold talks.

Damascus has stiffly rejected ever using such weapons against a torrent of accusations by some Western governments and media sources.

The KCNA commentary referred to the scheduled drills as an intention by America "to bring dark clouds of a war to hang over the Korean Peninsula".

Recent history suggests that both Kim and Assad believe they can continue to act with impunity, counting on the competing interests of powerful outside actors like the United States and Russian Federation to impede unified action against them.

According to the officials, it's feared that if North Korea achieves full nuclear power, it could share its technology with Iran, Pakistan, Libya or other nations, and that would be more unsafe to the United States than conventional military action, even if there are civilian and military casualties. If the account of activities detailed in the United Nations report are true, she said, "it shows the depravity of the regime".

The comments from Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry come as Seoul prepares to send an envoy to the North to help facilitate the way for talks on the tense nuclear face-off, a development that springs from renewed contacts launched under the auspices of the Olympics.

The daily five-hour pause was meant to allow aid to enter and civilians to leave the rebel-held area through a humanitarian corridor. But, the regime still has a number of technical obstacles to overcome before it could reliably strike the U.S.

"The US is none other than the first user of chemical weapons in the world and that it is a criminal state ... having massacred 50,000 innocent people in the northern half of the DPRK", it said.