North Korea Made $200M Off Banned Coal Exports

North Korea Violated UN Sanctions To Earn $200 Million from Prohibited Exports, Report Finds

North Korea Violated UN Sanctions To Earn $200 Million from Prohibited Exports, Report Finds

A UN panel of experts says North Korea earned almost 200 million dollars past year from commodity exports banned by UN Security Council resolutions.

A confidential report prepared by independent United Nations monitors and seen by Reuters on Friday also states North Korea supplied weapons-including ballistic missile systems-to Syria and Myanmar.

After scrutinizing more than 30 coal shipments from the North to ports in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia and Vietnam, the committee identified at least 16 that should have been reported, although these transactions took place prior to the August 5 United Nations resolution banning all coal exports.

Further, the 23 coal shipments were delivered using "a combination of multiple evasion techniques, routes and deceptive tactics".

"The DPRK is already flouting the most recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries and the worldwide banking system", the report said, referring to the country by its formal name - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

According to the report released on Friday, Pyongyang has been assisting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in developing its nuclear weapons programme, and has provided Myanmar's army with ballistic missiles. It banned all exports of coal by North Korea on Aug 5, 2017.

Last year, the UN Security Council adopted a series of resolutions aimed at restricting exports, with the objective of cutting off revenue to North Korea's military programme.

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Have Syria and Myanmar been cooperating with North Korea?

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

Several dozen times over the past decade, the report said, North Korean weapons have been shipped to Syria to develop 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.

Those documents listing countries like Russian Federation and China as the origin of the coal, instead of North Korea. The UN monitors said all those shipments "would constitute a violation of the resolution, if confirmed". The isolated dictatorship remains under strict United Nations sanctions targeting its raw material exports.

Investigators looked at 40 previously unreported North Korean shipments between 2012 and 2017 to Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre, a body which oversees the country's chemical weapons program.

The UN monitors also investigated ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, violating UN sanctions.

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