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Seoul on alert: Hamas asymmetric attack used North Korean methods, weapons

Hamas's armed wing IIzz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades train with paragliders as they prepare for an armed air assault, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released by Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades on Oct. 7.
FPI / November 8, 2023


Hamas's simultaneous incursions by air, land, and sea, in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel rang alarm bells in South Korea as it employed strategies long pursued by North Korea.

Hamas used paragliders for aerial infiltration and moved through an extensive network of underground tunnels spanning the Gaza Strip to transport fighters and goods, house command centers, and launching attacks — all methods developed by North Korea.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and other nations suggested that Hamas also used North Korea-produced 85-millimeter F-7 surface-to-surface rockets and 122 mm rockets with the Korean word "bang 122" written on them.

The coordinated large-scale surprise attack by Hamas on Israel has sparked major concerns about South Korea's readiness to confront such scenarios if they are initiated by North Korea.

“Seoul's defense platforms, such as unmanned surveillance systems along the inter-Korean border and long-range artillery interception systems, have been influenced by the Israeli model, including the Iron Dome. The vulnerability of Israel's highly sophisticated systems to such attacks raises concerns that South Korea's own defenses could also be susceptible,” The Korea Herald cited military analysts as saying in a Nov. 6 report.

“This assessment is grounded in the prevailing belief that North Korea may be sharing battlefield tactics and providing weapons and training to Hamas, both directly and through intermediaries,” the report said.

Additionally, Hamas and North Korea are taking on enemies in Israel and South Korea who are far stronger in conventional terms, which gives them no option but to choose asymmetric tactics.

“In asymmetric warfare, a group with fewer members like Hamas can strategically outmaneuver a stronger adversary by capitalizing on an opponent's weakness primarily through unconventional strategies and tactics,” the report said.

South Korea's Defense Ministry also assessed that "the North Korean military is likely to attempt a surprise attack when the opportunity arises, primarily employing asymmetric forces, to create favorable conditions for itself, and seek a quick end to (the ensuing conflict)" in its biannual Defense White Paper 2022.

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