A UN confidential report claims that North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs in violation of United Nations sanctions and is also engaged in clandestinely transferring weapons to Syria and Yemen’s Houthis who are fighting against Saudi led aggression.
According to reports the six-month report by independent experts monitoring the implementation of U.N. sanctions was submitted to the Security Council North Korea sanctions committee on Friday.
The 149-page report said, “(North Korea) has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018.”
The U.N report which was widely covered by Saudi Arabian, Israeli and Western media has also alleged that North Korea is cooperating militarily with Syria and has been trying to sell weapons to Yemen’s Houthis. Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad government and Yemen’s Houthis are understood of having friendly relations with Iran, which is now being criticised for expanding its influence in the region.
The report has also alleged North Korea for continuing textile exports to India and several other countries in violation of the UN sanctions. It said that Pyongyang also violated a textile ban by exporting more than $100 million in goods between October 2017 and March 2018 to China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay.
The UN report comes after Russia and China have suggested the Security Council to discuss easing sanctions after June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held in Singapore. During the meeting Kim had reportedly pledged to work toward denuclearization.
The U.N. experts said that recently illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products in international waters had “increased in scope, scale and sophistication.” The report said that a key North Korean technique was to turn off a ship’s tracking system and also physically disguising ships and using smaller vessels for the purpose.
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The Security Council has unanimously sanctioned North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.