N Korea slams Hamas arms deal claims

July 30, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

SEOUL: North Korea has denounced allegations that it supplied missiles to Hamas and material support to Hezbollah as “sheer fiction” and a “sinister” effort to link Pyongyang to Middle East disputes.

The rebuttal from the foreign ministry was carried in a statement by the North’s official KCNA news agency.

It follows a weekend report by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, citing Western sources, that Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas had made an initial down payment to secure missiles and communications equipment from North Korea.

The report came days after a US federal judge in Washington ruled that North Korea had provided advanced weaponry to the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon. “This is utterly baseless sophism and sheer fiction let loose by the US to isolate (North Korea) internationally,” the ministry said.

“Lurking behind this propaganda is a sinister intention of the US to justify its criminal acts of backing Israel,” it said, accusing Washington of seeking to stir up anti-Pyongyang sentiment by linking the North to the Middle East disputes.  


Heatwave kills    15 in Japan

TOKYO: Sweltering summer heat in Japan has left at least 15 people dead over the past week, while more than 8,000 were rushed to hospital with heatstroke symptoms, official figures showed yesterday.

At least six people died on Saturday alone, when the state weather agency warned temperatures had topped 35 degrees Celsius, with dripping humidity in certain parts of the country.

Last year, Japan experienced its hottest summer on record, with the mercury hitting 41 degrees in some parts of the country.