Israeli attorney and human rights activist Nitsana Darshan-Leitner told Voice of America News (VOA) that she would be representing the families of Americans killed on October 7th, when Hamas attacked Israel. In their suit, they are targeting the North Korean regime and Kim Jong Un for providing weapons to Palestinian terrorists.
Speaking with VOA’s Korean Service outlet on December 27th, Darsham-Leitner said that she currently has ten American clients. This figure is “including family members who lost their loved ones, as well as U.S. citizens who were injured or who incurred property damage in the attack… More than 30 Americans, many of them dual U.S.-Israeli citizens, were killed in the attack that initiated the latest round of violence between Hamas and Israel.”
While there might be a huge challenge in getting the case in any court, she also acknowledged they would be bringing in multiple North Korean experts, including those who could directly tie them to the attacks from Hamas. As South Korean experts who reviewed footage from these attacks identified within two weeks of the attacks, the North Korean F-7 shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) were seen extensively.
Based on a popular old soviet model, the F-7 is distinctly built to target humans and not armor. It is also marked with a self-identifying red stripe to ensure it isn’t confused with anti-armor weapons. Hamas’ own released images and video from that day show Hamas fighters carrying not only the anti-armor editions but also North Korean variants of the AK47. Back in October, experts on Palestine identified multiple Palestinian militant groups that have been historically supported by North Korea.
Using Iran as an intermediary, North Korea has heavily supported various Palestinian militant groups, not only Hamas, in their efforts to destabilize the region. In November, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) unveiled a massive cache of weapons being used and stockpiled by Hamas. This included multiple AK47 and RPG variants, many of which were traced directly back to North Korea.
A senior Hamas official called North Korea “part of our alliance” and went on to claim that the Kim regime was even willing to launch the first nukes on the US on their behalf. “Today, all of America’s enemies – or all those shown enmity by the U.S. – are growing closer. Today, Russia contacts us on a daily basis. The Chinese sent envoys to Doha, and China and Russia met with the leaders of Hamas. A Hamas delegation traveled to Moscow, and soon, a delegation will travel to Beijing.”
Designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 2017, North Korea was successfully sued by the parents of Otto Warmbier who had been kidnapped and held prisoner by North Korea. Awarded $500 million in damages, they received $2.2 million in October 2023 from a frozen North Korean bank account that belonged to the regime airline, Air Koryo.
A lawsuit like this, as Warmbier’s proves, is incredibly difficult to enforce. With the exception of siezed and frozen accounts, there is little an American or even an international tribunal can force their way into their accounts and take the money. The “sanctions” the US or others might put on North Korea are circumvented by their friends. Made up largely (but not entirely) of the nations the Hamas spokesman identified, these countries either lack sanctions on them or have connections to get whatever North Korea might want or need.
Despite the potential lack of enforceability for the lawsuit, this will be a landmark case either way. Should the North Koreans attack the US, you can almost guarantee they will never be paid out by the regime. They would however receive something, as the American government would ensure they were taken care of as they look to set the country up with new leadership and democracy.