Health Care

N.Korea 'earned $261m from banned exports'

N.Korea 'earned $261m from banned exports'

The report said North Korea exported coal to China, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam in 2017 in violation of sanctions.

The confidential report, seen by Reuters, said that North Korea "continued to export nearly all the commodities prohibited in the United Nations resolutions between January and September 2017".

The UN report claimed that past year, North Korea earned almost $200 million by exporting banned commodities in breach of worldwide sanctions.

The UN Security Council in 2016 and 2017 adopted a series of resolutions to expand bans on North Korea exports created to cut off revenue to Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

In addition to coal, North Korea is banned from exporting iron, lead and seafood, among other commodities. The U.N. monitors underscored that the investigation has shown "further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs".

The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the UN report.

It also points to the possibility that refined petroleum products were secretly transferred from a ship under the Dominican flag to a North Korea-registered vessel on January 20th.

The shipments were made mainly using false paperwork that showed countries such as Russian Federation and China as the origin instead of North Korea, it said.

The confidential report to a U.N. Security Council sanctions committee also referenced information that the reclusive country provided ballistic missile systems to Myanmar.

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The report cited evidence that North Korea has sold a ballistic-missile system to Myanmar and that it may be helping Syria with a chemical weapons program.

"Technicians continue to operate at chemical weapons and missile facilities at Barzei, Adra and Hama", a member-state, which was not named, told the panel.

Chinese, Russian, Malaysian and Burmese embassies in Washington didn't respond to a request for comment by The Wall Street Journal.

The report included details concerning North Korean coal shipping that was mainly conducted using false documents.

Coal is also said to have been exported to several countries, including South Korea, using, quote, "a combination of multiple evasion techniques, routes and deceptive tactics".

Myanmar UN Ambassador Hau Do Suan said the Myanmar government "has no ongoing arms relationship, whatsoever, with North Korea" and is abiding by the UN Security Council resolutions.

The report also pointed out that several countries including China, Russia and Malaysia had failed to stop the illegal exports.

What are the sanctions against North Korea? Its imports of crude oil and other petroleum products are also restricted.

The panel revealed that more than 40 unreported shipments from North Korea between 2012 and 2017 went to front companies for Syria's Scientific Studies Research Council, a key institute for Syria's chemical programme.


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