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N. Korea strongly condemns Israeli assault on Gaza

TOKYO, Dec 30 (KUNA) -- North Korea on Tuesday blasted Israel's continuing air raids on Gaza as "barbaric" and called for immediate suspension of the deadly attacks, according to state-run Korean Central News Agency report monitored by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
"Israel mobilized more than 60 fighters and gunship to launch barbaric air raids on Gaza Strip of Palestine," a foreign ministry spokesman said. "The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) resolutely denounces Israel's killing of unarmed civilians as a crime against humanity, a serious provocation against the Palestinians and other Arab people and an open challenge to the Middle East peace process," the unnamed spokesman said. The Israeli assaults on Gaza continued for the fourth day, leaving nearly 350 Palestinians dead and 1,400 wounded, according to news reports. The spokesman said, "Israel should immediately stop all military actions and positively respond to the demand of the Arab and other peoples of the world for the comprehensive and fair solution to the Mid-east issue." North Korea has been traditionally sympathetic to the Middle East, according to the Yonhap. It openly welcomed the recent shoe attack against US President George W. Bush by an Iraqi journalist, scornfully comparing Bush to "a cock soaked in the rain." The phrase refers to a person of high status who suddenly falls into disgrace. (end) mk.asa KUNA 301839 Dec 08NNNN