Wednesday, July 21, 2010

U.S. Court Fines N. Korea For Terror Plot--In Israel

If you are wondering why you have not heard about this till now, that's because it happened 38 years ago--but don't let that fool you: the suit demonstrates that North Korea is closely involved in terrorist attacks on Israel now as well:
A federal court has found North Korea guilty of aiding terrorists and has fined Pyongyang $300 million in connection with a 1972 terrorist attack in Israel.

However, it is unlikely North Korea's totalitarian regime will recognize the U.S. court's decision and pay the fine.

"North Korea's demonstrated and well-known policy to encourage, support and direct a campaign of murder against civilians amply justifies the imposition of punitive damages against it," Judge Francisco A. Besosa of the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico said in a ruling Friday.

Noting that North Korea's "budget for the export of terrorism is not known," Judge Besosa said the court would adopt the "typical punitive damages award of $300 million."

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Carmelo Calderon-Molina, a U.S. citizen who was killed in the attack at Lod Airport, now known as Ben-Gurion International Airport, in Tel Aviv.

Mr. Calderon-Molina died trying to protect a pregnant woman. Another U.S. citizen, Pablo Tirado-Ayala, was injured in the May 30, 1972, attack.

The attack was carried out by the Japanese Red Army (JRA) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with material support from North Korea and North Korea's Cabinet General Intelligence Bureau.

...Twenty-six people were killed and more than 80 wounded in the attack.
Of course, back then, terrorists were called..."terrorists."

But this lawsuit if very pertinent today, as noted by professor of international relations, Bruce Bechtol:
Families of dual U.S.-Israeli citizens who were killed or injured in Hezbollah attacks on Israel in 2006 also have filed a lawsuit against North Korea.

"This suit is being brought against North Korea because it built the tunnels and the underground facilities for Hezbollah that enabled it to attack Israel during the 2006 war, and because North Korea also supplied them with the rockets that they used," Mr. Bechtol said.

He said the 1972 case is important because it set a precedent, but the 2006 case is even more important because it shows that North Korea continues to be a state sponsor of terrorism.
Looks like Iran and Syria have a friend.

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