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Israeli Leader Confirms Syrian Nuclear Target

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared for the first time last month that an Israeli attack against Syria in September was intended to destroy a nuclear facility being built with North Korea cooperation, Asahi Shimbun reported today (see GSN, Feb. 22).

The nature of the desert target has been debated in the media, but Israeli officials had remained mum, confirming only that they had conducted the attack (see GSN, Jan. 17).

Olmert, however, provided the additional information during a Feb. 27 visit in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, according to Asahi.

"While we cannot confirm the facts, the fact that such an assertion was made at an official occasion such as a summit meeting is significant, making it highly credible," said one Japanese Foreign Ministry official (Nanae Kurashige, Asahi Shimbun, March 31).

North Korean officials have consistently denied the accusation that they have proliferated nuclear technology (Xinhua, March 28).

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