North Korea Has Earned $200M by Violating Sanctions, UN Report Alleges

North Korean flag

North Korea violated United Nations sanctions to earn almost US$200 million (S$261 million) in 2017 from banned commodity exports, according to a confidential report by independent UN monitors, which also accused Pyongyang of supplying weapons to Syria and Myanmar. The report, submitted to a U.N. Security Council sanctions committee, revealed that North Korea had exported coals to ports "including in Russia, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam", using forged paperwork that showed Russia and China-as well as other countries-as the origin of coal, instead of Pyongyang.

Their report states North Korea delivered "items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs". Multiple sanctions dating back to 2006 have tried to choke off funding for the nuclear and missile programs.

"Myanmar and Syria continued to co-operate with North Korea's main arms exporter, Komid, despite it being on a United Nations sanctions blacklist", the report said.

The report said there was not enough "political will" and coordination to ensure sanctions were fully working. It has also allegedly supplied weapons to Syria and Myanmar.

The report said North Korea was helping Syria develop chemical weapons and was providing ballistic missiles to Myanmar.

Under a 2016 resolution, the Security Council capped coal exports and required countries to report any imports of North Korean coal to the council's sanctions committee. Its content is created separately from USA TODAY.

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




News of the report came hours after US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said that the US was investigating the Syrian government over reports that it was using the deadly nerve gas sarin on the battlefield.

Those documents listing countries like Russian Federation and China as the origin of the coal, instead of North Korea.

It says, "North Korea is flouting recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries and the worldwide banking system".

Syria denied the presence of North Korean technicians in its territory, claiming that the only experts it was hosting from the country were involved in sport.

According to the report and the United Nations panel of experts, seven ships have been prevented from entering ports worldwide for violating United Nations sanctions with coal and petroleum transfers.

Shortages would lead to serious humanitarian problems, he said, adding: "Official representatives of Pyongyang have made it clear that a blockade would be interpreted by North Korea as a declaration of war, with all the subsequent consequences".

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