WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US government on Thursday will show lawmakers a video linking North Korea to a Syrian nuclear reactor the Israelis bombed in September, leading US newspapers said Thursday.
The New York Times and The Washington Post, citing unnamed senior officials said the video showed North Koreans inside the secret Syrian facility code-named Al Kibar.
The reports follow Wednesday's announcement by a US official that US intelligence officials would disclose to Congress that Pyongyang shared nuclear know-how with Syria.
Sources familiar with the video told the Times and the Post that the Syrian reactor's core design was identical to a North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including its configuration and number of fuel rod holes.
An unnamed senior US official told the Post the timing of the video and information about to be disclosed was meant to torpedo any potential deal with North Korea to remove it from a US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
"Making public the pictures is likely to inflame the North Koreans," the official said. "And that's just what opponents of this whole arrangement want, because they think the North Koreans will stalk off."
Syria's ambassador to the United Nations denied Wednesday that his country had received nuclear assistance from North Korea.
"We said it many times in the past. There (was) no Syrian-North Korean cooperation whatsoever in Syria," Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told reporters. "We deny these rumors."
Washington says Pyongyang should not only account for its plutonium program but also clear up suspicions about an alleged uranium enrichment program and suspected proliferation -- claims denied by North Korea.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »