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Analysis: Hamas, Hezbollah, and North Korea: A Lethal Connection

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The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has sent shockwaves through the international community, highlighting the potential dangers of unconventional warfare.

In the midst of this conflict, experts have drawn attention to the involvement of North Korea, emphasizing the significant risks posed by North Korean arms deals with Hamas. As South Korea observes the challenges faced by Israel in its war against Hamas, it must also consider the implications for its own national security. This article delves into the complex web of North Korea’s arms dealings with Hamas, their impact on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, and the potential repercussions for South Korea.

 

The Power of Simple Weapons

 

The recent barrage of rockets launched by Hamas against Israel has demonstrated the devastating impact of relatively simple and inexpensive weaponry when used en masse. Even Israel’s advanced Iron Dome missile defense system initially struggled to intercept all the incoming rockets. This raises a pressing question for World Powers: if the Iron Dome cannot intercept all of Hamas’s rockets, how can world powers defend itself against a potential North Korean missile attack? According to Bruce Bechtol Jr., a former officer of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, North Korea possesses far more advanced rockets than Hamas, making the issue even more critical.

 

The Israel-Hamas Conflict

 

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has claimed over 2,000 lives, has shed light on the involvement of North Korea. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that some 4,500 rockets were fired at Israeli territory by Hamas, many of which overwhelmed the Iron Dome air defense system initially. This has prompted concerns that some of these rockets and launchers may have been supplied by North Korea as part of a secret arms deal dating back to 2014.

 

North Korea’s Role

 

In 2014, reports surfaced of a secret arms deal between North Korea and Hamas, worth several hundred thousand dollars, involving the sale of rockets and communication equipment. These rockets used by Hamas are relatively simple and similar to those in North Korea’s arsenal. Bruce Bechtol Jr. cautioned that South Korea must invest in advanced counter-battery fire capabilities, as North Korea has a considerable number of rockets near the Demilitarized Zone.

 

Furthermore, there are reports that North Korea may have sold its anti-tank system, known as the “Bulsae,” to Hamas. This anti-tank system could pose a significant threat to not only Israel but also South Korea, given the susceptibility of their tanks to the Bulsae system.

 

Hezbollah’s Support for Hamas

 

In addition to Hamas, Hezbollah, another militant group based in southern Lebanon, expressed support for Hamas during the conflict. Hezbollah’s rocket attacks at the Israeli border area were symbolic in nature, signifying their backing of Hamas rather than a precursor to a major military confrontation with Israel. This demonstrates the intricate web of connections between various militant groups in the region and North Korea’s involvement.

 

Implications for World powers

 

North Korea’s arms exports, training of militants, and covert arms deals have become a concerning issue for world powers’s national security. If the United States shifts its foreign policy focus back to the Middle East due to this development, many countries may face challenges in defending itself against potential North Korean threats.

 

Hong Sung-pyo, a senior research analyst at the Korea Institute for Military Affairs, emphasized the need for South Korea to closely monitor North Korea’s military ties with Hamas and Hezbollah, as they could have significant implications for its security. North Korea’s collaboration with these groups enables it to generate revenue and build alliances against common adversaries, including the United States.

 

Historical Ties

 

Hamas and Hezbollah have long-standing ties with North Korea, dating back to the Cold War era when North Korea provided training and assistance to these militant groups. These relationships were confirmed in 2009 when weapons destined for Hamas and Hezbollah were intercepted in Thailand. North Korea’s involvement extended to helping these groups dig underground tunnels for surprise attacks on Israeli citizens.

 

In recent years, North Korea, in collaboration with Iran, has assisted Hezbollah in building a vast network of tunnels in Lebanon. These tunnels, similar to North Korean models, have the capacity to facilitate stealthy and rapid underground movement, posing a serious threat to regional stability.

 

Conclusion

 

The complex web of North Korea’s arms deals and collaborations with Hamas and Hezbollah have far-reaching implications for the security of not only Israel but also for world powers. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the potential involvement of North Korean weaponry underscore the need for world powers to enhance its defense capabilities and closely monitor developments in the region. As North Korea’s connections with militant groups continue to pose risks, world powers must remain vigilant and adapt to emerging security challenges.

Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas is an accomplished journalist with extensive experience in the field. He has held prominent positions such as Editor at Daily Times and Daily Duniya. Currently, he serves as the Chief Editor (National) at The Think Tank Journal

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