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05 February 2018, 06:16 | Audrey Hill
North Korea Violated UN Sanctions To Earn $200 Million from Prohibited Exports, Report Finds
North Korea violated United Nations sanctions to earn almost $200 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. Multiple sanctions dating back to 2006 have tried to choke off funding for the nuclear and missile programs.
The report, which was submitted to the UN Security Council said the North "continued to export nearly all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions. between January and September 2017".
According to United Nations monitors, a more unsafe finding was that 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 has been submitted to the UNSC sanctions committee.
An investigation also revealed "further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs", it continues.
Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013.
The delivery of oil and oil products to North Korea should not be reduced, Moscow's ambassador to Pyongyang was cited as saying by RIA news agency on Wednesday, adding that a total end to deliveries would be interpreted by North Korea as an act of war. Its content is created separately from USA TODAY. CNN has obtained key sections of the report from a United Nations diplomat who is not authorized to speak publicly.
Despite a 2016 U.N. Security Council resolution that capped coal exports and demanded countries report any imports of North Korean coal since August 5, the U.N. monitors inspected 23 coal shipments to ports in China, Russia, China, South Korea and Vietnam after that date.
These range from banning coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood to capping crude-oil and refined petroleum products' imports. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that more was needed to be done on the issue of maritime interdiction operations when it comes to stopping sanctions violations.
However, Syrian officials told the monitors that the only North Korean experts on its territory were involved in sports.
The United States led the push for tough economic sanctions after North Korea's sixth nuclear test and a series of ballistic missile launches that raised fears that the U.S. mainland could soon be within range.
North Korea has for years used deceptive shipping practices to bring in money and goods for the regime.
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.
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