Sun, Aug 05, 2018 - Page 1 News List

N Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile programs

Reuters, UNITED NATIONS

Hwasong-15 ballistic missiles are pictured at a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Feb. 8.

Photo: AFP

North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs in violation of UN sanctions, according to a confidential UN report seen by reporters on Friday.

The six-month report by independent experts monitoring the implementation of UN sanctions was submitted to the UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee late on Friday.

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 experts wrote in the 149-page report.

North Korea is cooperating militarily with Syria and has been trying to sell weapons to Yemen’s Houthis, the report said.

Pyongyang also violated a textile ban by exporting more than US$100 million in goods between October last year and March to China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay, it said.

The report came as Russia and China suggested that the UN Security Council discuss easing sanctions after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met for the first time in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization.

The UN experts said illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products in international waters had “increased in scope, scale and sophistication.”

They said a key North Korean technique was to turn off a ship’s tracking system, but that they were also physically disguising ships and using smaller vessels.

“Prohibited military cooperation with the Syrian Arab Republic has continued unabated,” the experts said.

North Korean technicians engaged in ballistic missile and other banned activities have visited Syria in 2011, 2016 and last year, they said.

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