Korea Denies Secret Nuclear Pact with Syria

China cancels talks after Israeli raid raises suspicions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2007 10:44 AM CDT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, center, poses for a photograph with the soldiers of Korean People's Army 821 unit, which is situated on the undisclosed forefront, North Korea, in this early April 2006...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – North Korea and Syria each strongly denied a secret nuclear alliance today, after an Israeli raid in Syria, rumored to be aimed at a nuclear installation, raised suspicions. North Korea called the pact a fabrication designed to stall progress in its multi-national nuclear negotiations, while a state-run Syrian newspaper said it was a “flagrant lie.” But the AP says senior US officials confirm Korean presence in Syria.

Details about the Israeli raid, and the evidence it turned up, are extremely vague, says the Times, but American and Israeli officials confirmed that the Sept. 6 mission tracked North Korean cargo to what Israelis believed was a Syrian nuclear site. As the news emerged, China abruptly cancelled negotiations in Beijing that would have set a schedule for Korea’s disarmament.