North Korea denies reports that it is aiding the Syrian government in its ongoing battle against opposition fighters.
According to state-run news agency KCNA, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry dismissed the charge as a "false rumor," maintaining the country's apparent stance that the Syrian civil war should be solved peacefully.
"This is nothing but part of the foolish plots of the hostile forces to tarnish the image of the peace-loving DPRK and cover up their criminal acts of blocking the peaceful settlement of the Syrian situation," the statement said.
Back in August, Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun reported that Turkey had intercepted a shipment of gas masks, guns, and ammunition from North Korea to Syria. According to the Los Angeles Times, the attempted shipment occurred in April, thus demonstrating the Assad regime's intention to use chemical weapons.
In recent years, reports have surfaced detailing the cooperative relationship between the two countries. North Korean technicians were reportedly helping Syria to build a covert nuclear reactor until 2007, when Israel bombed the site. In June, South Korean outlet Chosun Ilbo cited a "diplomatic source" who alleged that North Korea had provided Syria with chemical weapons technology and continued to supply "after-sales services" to Assad's chemical weapons facilities.