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APRIL 14, 2009 – WASHINGTON – Americans injured in Hizbullah attacks have sued the government of North Korea in a U.S. court.
“North Korea has become a major player in providing support and material resources to Middle East terrorist organizations such as Hizbullah,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the three attorneys who filed the suit, said.
“It was North Korea which trained Hizbullah leadership and built the underground bunkers that permitted the terrorists to evade Israeli jets during the Second Lebanese War [in 2006] and to continue their rocket attacks targeting civilians.”
This was said to have marked the first suit of North Korea in connection with its alleged help to Hizbullah. The suit cited a May 2008 memorandum by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee that reported North Korean construction of Hizbullah tunnels, used in the 34-day war against Israel. Hizbullah has also been named a defendant in the suit, titled “Kaplan vs. North Korea.”
The American plaintiffs said North Korea trained Hizbullah and constructed a network of tunnels and bunkers to store rocket launchers in Lebanon. During the 2006 war, Hizbullah fired 4,500 rockets and 43 Israelis were killed.
“As a facilitator of the Hizbullah rockets, North Korea is financially liable to all those Americans injured by the terrorists,” Ms. Darshan-Leitner said. “The lawsuit aims to secure a measure justice for the terror victims and teach North Korea that it cannot continue to support Hizbullah with impunity.”
Ms. Darshan-Leitner and co-counsels Robert Tolchin and Nathan Tarnor did not cite North Korean assets in the United States. Ms. Darshan-Leitner and Tolchin have filed several suits against Hamas and Iran in connection with insurgency attacks against Israel.