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White House: North Korea Gave Syria Nuclear Help

  • VOA News

The US government says North Korea helped Syria build a secret nuclear reactor and that the site, damaged beyond repair in an Israeli bombing last year, was not intended for peaceful purposes.

The White House released evidence Thursday which it said proves Syria was working to develop plutonium for nuclear purposes. Washington said the Syrian site had the same or similar technology used in North Korean reactors. And officials said photos showed Syrian and North Korean officials standing together.

Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, told CNN that the allegations were "ridiculous." He said Israel had destroyed a vacant military building, and charged that the United States has a history of fabricating evidence of nuclear activity.

The White House called on Syria to "come clean" about its nuclear activities.

The White House said it was briefing the International Atomic Energy Agency about the facility. The US alleges the site was hidden from view and information about it was not provided to the IAEA. US officials said after the reactor was destroyed Syria moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence.

US intelligence officials briefed members of the US Congress about the suspected facility on Thursday.

Some leading members of Congressional committees said they were angry that the White House had waited so long to brief them after destroying the site.

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