August 18, 2021 12:02
The armed insurgents group Hezbollah in Lebanon has dug a network of tunnels for military purposes with North Korean technology, a report claims.
In the report published on Aug. 12, the Alma Research and Education Center, an Israeli think tank, claims Hezbollah signed a US$13 million technology transfer contract with Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), a North Korean state-owned entity that specializes in tunneling.
Based on this technology, Hezbollah has dug a 45-km network of tunnels that connects its three strongholds from the Bekaa Valley in the east to Beirut and Southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah, which is an Iranian-funded group of Shia Islamists, had help supervising the project from Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the report claims.
According to Alma, the tunnels resemble those dug by North Korea beneath the demilitarized zone here and the network "allows Hezbollah to mobilize forces from one zone to another out of sight and in relative safety."
The tunnels are big enough for motorcycles and other small vehicles and include even a missile hangar and launch pad. Hezbollah started digging the network in 2006.
North Korea provided not only technology but equipment and materials, Alma added, dispatching six tunneling experts to Lebanon.
"As of 2014, $6 million had been transferred to [KOMID], apparently in the form of heroin and cocaine that the North Koreans were meant to distribute in East Asian markets," the reports says.
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