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

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

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

North Korea earned almost $200 million from exporting coal and other banned commodities past year in violation of UN sanctions, according to a new United Nations report.

"The DPRK (North Korea) is already flouting the most recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries and the worldwide banking system", Reuters cited the 213-page report.

After the coal ban was imposed on August 5, the United Nations monitors investigated 23 coal shipments to ports in Russia, China, South Korea and Vietnam.

There was reportedly evidence that the report found that the North was helping Syria to develop chemical weapons and providing ballistic missiles to Myanmar.

The report also revealed that several unnamed multinational oil companies were being investigated for their alleged role in supplying petroleum products to North Korea.

This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 1, 2018, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at the newly-remodeled Pyongyang Trolley Bus Factory in Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launching of the medium-to-long range strategic ballistic rocket at an unspecified location on September 16, 2017.

They also inspected cargo from two North Korea shipments intercepted by unidentified countries en route to Syria.

The confidential report by a panel of experts said several countries including China, Russia and Malaysia had failed to stop the illegal exports.

Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations denies any "ongoing arms relationship" with North Korea. China, Russia and Malaysia are failing curb sanctioned finance and trade by North Korea, according to a United Nations report.

North Korean diplomats, in particular trade representatives, continue to provide logistical support for arms sales and help organise exchanges for military technicians, it said. 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. Between 2012 and 2017, Pyongyang has reportedly conducted over 40 shipments to the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, a body that oversees the chemical weapons program in the country.

North Korea has for years used deceptive shipping practices to bring in money and goods for the regime.

The monitors said one country, which they did not name, told them North Korea had carried out such transfers off its ports of Wonsan and Nampo and in global waters between the Yellow Sea and East China Sea between October and January.

It pointed out that Chinese food, fruit and household products were still being sold in North Korea.

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