SEOUL – North Korea has denied that it had cooperated with Syria in developing chemical weapons, claiming the accusations were trumped up by the United States to increase pressure on the regime, state media reported on Friday.
A spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said that North Korea “is opposed to chemical weapons” and that “as had been elucidated several times, the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) does not have a single record of developing, producing and stockpiling a chemical weapon.”
According to a report by The New York Times last week citing a United Nations panel report, North Korea has supplied Syria with materials that can be used to produce chemical weapons.
The document, which has not been made public and whose content the UN refused to confirm, examines Pyongyang’s possible violations of the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions.
In a statement released on Friday by state news agency KCNA, the North Korean spokesperson accused the US of having “egged on” the UNSC Sanctions Committee and having “cooked up ‘the theory of cooperation between the DPRK and Syria.’”
“This is only a mean trick to fan an atmosphere of sanctions against the DPRK and enforce a full-scale sea blockade by railing at DPRK as a state of ‘possession and proliferation of chemical weapons’ and to justify its military invasion into Syria,” the statement added.
In 2013, the Syrian government pledged to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal under an accord brokered by Washington and Moscow, but it has been accused of reusing banned substances for military purposes on several occasions since.