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N.K. media outlet says Middle East could become 'graveyard' for U.S.

All Headlines 09:47 January 06, 2020

By Koh Byung-joon

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official news agency carried its first report Monday on the recent killing of a top Iranian general by the United States, while a propaganda media outlet said a day earlier that the Middle East could become a "graveyard" for the U.S.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the Iranian general, Qassim Suleimani, was killed in a U.S. missile attack at an airfield in Bagdad early Friday morning and that China and Russia condemned the attack as a violation of the U.N. Charter.

"China and Russia emphasized that they not only object to abuse of military power in international relations but also cannot tolerate adventurous military acts," KCNA said, referring to a telephone conversation between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.

"They expressed concerns over regional situations being worsened by the U.S.'s illegal acts," it said.

On Sunday, Meari, a North Korean propaganda outlet, also carried an article titled "Military experts expect Middle East will become graveyard for U.S."

"Global military experts recently analyzed that the U.S. is being bogged down in a war in the Middle East," the website said. "Even pro-American countries have been passively answering the U.S.'s request for sending troops on account of their internal politics and economic challenges, driving the U.S. into despair."

The North's government has not given any official reaction yet to the incident.

Observers say that Pyongyang must be closely watching what impact the latest development in the Middle East could have on its ongoing nuclear standoff with the U.S.

In a four-day key party meeting in late December, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un accused the U.S. of dragging its feet in denuclearization talks and threatened to show off a "new strategic weapon" to the world in the near future.

Kim added that there will never be denuclearization until the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy toward the North and a lasting and durable peacekeeping mechanism is built on the Korean Peninsula.

Denuclearization talks have been stalled since the second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump ended without an agreement due to wide differences over how to match Pyongyang's denuclearization measures and Washington's sanctions relief.

In May 2018, Trump declared an exit from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the resumption of harsh sanctions in the energy and financial sectors.

Despite Washington's unilateral withdrawal, Iran has stuck to the deal, keeping restrictions on its nuclear activities. On Sunday, Teheran said that it will not observe "final limitations," signaling that it will abandon the nuclear deal altogether.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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