By JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Reuters U.S. intelligence officials say they have confirmed with China that the country did not conduct a covert propaganda campaign aimed at North Korea during its nuclear weapons tests in 2017.
The report, published Tuesday by the National Intelligence Council, is the first time U.N. inspectors have publicly confirmed that the Chinese government was not behind North Korea’s sixth nuclear test.
China denied the claim.
The report’s authors said they have been told that China is believed to have been the source of more than one dozen false and misleading reports that China used propaganda, including in the United States, in the months before and after the North’s sixth test in January 2018.
The assessment, based on intelligence reports that were reviewed by U.R.A. and other intelligence agencies, concludes that North Korea “did not conduct an overt, clandestine propaganda campaign during the 2017 test.”
China’s Foreign Ministry and state-run media have denied any wrongdoing.
China’s government has been a frequent target of criticism over its treatment of Kim Jong Un, who is believed by many analysts to be in his final years.
North Korea said it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, but analysts have said they believe it could have done so much more.
North Korean state media have repeatedly blamed the United Nations for instigating the crisis, saying the U.K. and U.A.-France have sent agents to spy on North Korea.