Photo Credit: KCNA
North Korea's long-range nuclear-capable cruise missile being fired from a launcher and flying in the sky. Pyongyang test-fired the missiles on Sept. 11 and 12, 2021

North Korea is stepping up its activity in the Middle East, with experts from the Hermit Kingdom actively helping Iran supply its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, with hundreds of chemical weapons in Lebanon, according to a report earlier this week by the Saudi al Hadath newspaper later verified by Fox News.

Report: Hezbollah Brought Chemical Weapons to Lebanon from Syria

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More than 300 Fateh missiles and 110 Fajr missiles, all of them carrying warheads filled with thionyl chloride, were surreptitiously transported in non-military vehicles by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from a research center in Masyaf to a site near the town of al-Qaseir in northern Lebanon.

Masyaf has been the focus of repeated Israeli attacks on Iranian military sites.

North Korean experts reportedly injected the thionyl chloride into the missiles under the supervision of Iranian chemical weapons expert Qassem Abdullah Massoudyan, according to the report, which was confirmed by Fox News.

Thionyl chloride is listed under the Chemical Weapons Convention because it can also be used to produce chemical weapons.

The chemical is very corrosive to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract and “reacts violently with water,” according to a report by the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization and the European Commission.

North Korea has also recently joined its ally Iran in secretly supplying weapons to Russia for its war on Ukraine, and continues to improve and upgrade its ballistic missiles in violation of United Nations sanctions.

North Korea Fires Suspected ICBM in Second Day of Missile Fire

Last week, Pyongyang test-fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile along with multiple other ballistic missiles — including one that triggered an air raid alert for residents of central and northern Japan. One day earlier, North Korea launched 23 short-range missiles at different times from both of its coasts.

Iran Helping Hezbollah Acquire ‘Game-Changing’ Weapons
“Despite the severe unrest, humanitarian crises and the unraveling of the Lebanese state, Hezbollah continues to focus its resources on acquiring and developing game-changing military capabilities that it intends to deploy against Israel, directly funded by Iran,” IDF Brigadier-General (ret) Amir Avivi told Fox News.

Avivi, CEO and founder of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, warned that the recent maritime border deal signed between Israel and Lebanon has exacerbated the threat against Israel.

“The gas deal signed between Lebanon and Israel during the last seconds of the outgoing interim Israeli government weakened Israeli deterrence and has emboldened Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies, who saw Israel folding under the threat of military force,” Avivi warned.

“Stopping a Shiite terror organization from obtaining chemical weapons is first and foremost an Israeli priority, but the US and Europe should be almost equally concerned with the proliferation of unconventional weapons – and act accordingly.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.