White House says North Korea helped Syria build the destroyed nuclear reactor; Syria dismisses the allegations, says ready to cooperate with the IAEA on the issue
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  • The North Korean denuclearisation process has again got embroiled in a new controversy. Reports pointed to the possibility of North Korea having provided assistance to Syria in building a nuclear reactor, which was bombed in September 2007 by Israel. The White House on its part, asserting that North Korea did indeed help Syria's secret nuclear program, affirmed that the destroyed Syrian facility was not intended for “peaceful purposes1.”

    Syria has however dismissed the U.S. allegations. Its Ambassador to Britain Sami al-Khiyami charged that the accusations were intended to put pressure on North Korea in the ongoing talks about Pyongyang's denuclearisation program2. The Syrian envoy to the United Nations, Bashar Ja'afari stated that Syria was ready to cooperate with the IAEA on the issue and that Syria had “nothing to hide3.”