The PA-North Korean connection

The PA-North Korean connection, Israel Hayom, Yoram Ettinger, June 12, 2017

A thorough examination of the track record of the Palestinian Authority, the ‎PLO, Fatah (all three headed by Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas is a prerequisite ‎for a realistic assessment of the nature of the proposed Palestinian state and ‎its potential impact upon vital U.S. interests in the Middle East.‎

North Korea has scrutinized these terror organizations since Fatah’s inception, in ‎‎1959, and has identified the significant, long-term, geo-political ‎synergies between them and Pyongyang. Hence, the systematic and elaborate ‎geo-strategic cooperation, since 1966, between one of the most repressive, ‎terroristic and anti-U.S. regimes in the world and the Palestinian terror ‎organizations, which have been systematically anti-American, role models of ‎international and intra-Arab terrorism, subversion and treachery. Similarly to ‎North Korea, they forged alliances with the USSR and the ruthless East ‎European communist regimes, collaborated with Iran’s ayatollahs, fomenting ‎egregious systems of hate-education, incitement and repression.

Furthermore, Pyongyang is aware of the Palestinian trail of anti-Jewish and ‎‎(mostly) intra-Arab terrorism during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, their ‎collaboration with the Nazis, and their 1951 murder of Jordan’s King Abdullah, ‎while the monarch prayed in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

It’s also no surprise that a ruthless totalitarian like Kim Jong Un, who would never submit to the judgment of the ballot box, would support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud ‎Abbas, now in his 12th year of what was to be a four-year term.‎

North Korea considers its ties with the Palestinians compatible with its ‎paramount strategic goal: the erosion of the U.S. power projection in the Korean ‎Peninsula, the Middle East and throughout the globe. Therefore, Pyongyang ‎has attempted to destabilize pro-U.S. regimes while forging cooperation with ‎regimes that are rivals of — or hostile to — the U.S. and its allies, such as ‎Israel. ‎

North Korea has supported terror organizations — which have targeted the U.S. ‎and its allies — providing them with training, military supplies, communications ‎technologies, and expertise on the construction of tunnels and fortifications. ‎

North Korea has considered Iran and Syria its senior partners in the Middle ‎East, but has also provided the Palestinian terror machine critical assistance.‎

Moreover, Pyongyang has leveraged the unique Palestinian “terror startup” — ‎developed ever since the 1960s — when Arafat and Abbas ‎established PLO camps in ‎Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen, training anti-Western terrorists from ‎Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. ‎

The Palestinians have participated in the North Korean semi-proxy terrorist ‎network, stretching from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, ‎Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, through South Africa, Mozambique, ‎Zimbabwe, Western Sahara, Europe, Syria and Iran all the way to Sri Lanka ‎and Japan.‎

While Israel’s security control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria precludes substantial North Korean military assistance to the ‎Palestinian Authority, such assistance has been extended to Hamas in Gaza. Thirty-five ‎tons of arms destined for Gaza via Teheran — including rocket-propelled ‎grenades, missiles and rocket launchers, missile tubes, surface-to-air missile ‎launchers and spare parts — were seized when a North Korean cargo plane ‎made an emergency landing in Bangkok. In addition, during 2009, five North ‎Korean vessels were interdicted while carrying weapons intended for Iran, ‎Hamas or Hezbollah. Recently, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza received North ‎Korean shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank missiles. ‎

North Korea has been implicated in notorious cases of Palestinian ‎terrorism, such as the 1972 attack (in conjunction with the Japanese Red ‎Army) on Lod Airport, murdering 26 persons, most of ‎them Christian pilgrims from Puerto Rico. In 2010, a U.S. federal judge ordered ‎North Korea to pay $378 million in compensation to the families of the victims. ‎

According to Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean ‎Workers’ Party, the Palestinian Embassy to North Korea (one of only 24 ‎embassies in the country) issued a statement expressing Abbas’ praise of the current and ‎previous tyrants for “devoting [themselves] to freedom and people’s ‎happiness.” Such praise reflects Abbas’ own track record of hate-education, terrorism and violation of civil liberties, providing more evidence ‎of the nature of the proposed Palestinian state.

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