| PYONGYANG, April 17
PYONGYANG, April 17 Syria's ambassador to North
Korea denounced U.S. aggression and "history of interventions"
on Monday and said sending a "message" to North Korea with an
attack on a Syrian airfield was irresponsible.
North Korea has conducted several missile and nuclear tests
in defiance of U.N. sanctions and has said it has developed a
missile that can strike the U.S. mainland. Its latest missile
test on Sunday failed a few seconds after launch.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence put North Korea on notice on
Monday, warning that recent U.S. strikes in Syria, one of North
Korea's few close allies, and Afghanistan showed that the
resolve of President Donald Trump should not be tested.
The U.S. Navy this month struck a Syrian airfield with 59
Tomahawk missiles after a chemical weapons attack. On Thursday,
the U.S. military said it had dropped the largest non-nuclear
device it had unleashed in combat on a network of caves and
tunnels used by Islamic State in Afghanistan.
Syrian Ambassador to North Korea Tammam Sulaiman said the
United States was wrong to send messages with attacks on other
"Whatever they do, this is clear aggression. If they want to
mention this they ought to do this as a message or whatever, it
has no sense to talk about this," he told Reuters, in English.
"Because what is sense is to see whether the U.S. is really
serious in finding solutions, whether in Syria or Korea. If they
want to keep sending messages, then you are not talking with a
responsible state or a responsible administration. It is not
about giving messages, it is about taking a position."
North Korea's KCNA news agency on Monday carried a letter
from leader Kim Jong Un to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
marking the 70th anniversary of Syria’s independence.
"I express again a strong support and alliance to the Syrian
government and its people for its work of justice, condemning
the United States’ recent violent invasive act against your
country," Kim said.
Asked to what extent North Korea supported the Syrian
military in its fight against rebel forces, Sulaiman said there
was "nothing of military cooperation".
North Korea in 2013 denied it was sending military aid to
the Syrian government after media reports said that Pyongyang
had sent advisers and helicopter pilots.
Sulaiman said the "acquisition of nuclear weapons should not
be a goal" for any country.
"But I can understand in the case of North Korea, I can
understand why (it) is building its nuclear capabilities to face
the American aggression, clear aggression."
(Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Alison Williams)