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North Korean Pilots Staffing Egyptian Air Force

An Israeli army spokesman today confirmed reports from United States sources that North Korean pilots are flying in the Egyptian Air Force. He said Israel’s information was that between 10 and 20 North Korean pilots were already in the service of the air force.

The Egyptian Defense Minister visited North Korea several months ago and it is believed here that Cairo may have sought assistance from North Korea because of difficulty in procuring aid from the Soviet Union whose military advisors were expelled from Egypt last year. There was no immediate information as to whether the North Korean pilots are in Egypt as part of a formal agreement between Cairo and Hanoi. American sources said the North Korean pilots are regarded highly and that they be “fillers” for the withdrawn Soviet pilots.

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