Wed, Feb 06, 2019 - Page 1 News List

N Korea protecting nuclear missiles: UN monitors

Reuters, UNITED NATIONS and WASHINGTON

People yesterday bow before the statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang on the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Photo: AFP

North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, UN monitors said ahead of a meeting between US and North Korean officials to prepare a second summit.

US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun is to meet his North Korean counterpart tomorrow in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the US Department of State said on Monday.

Biegun has said he hoped the meeting with new North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol would map out “a set of concrete deliverables” for the summit.

South Korean officials said they and the US could be looking at a compromise that could expedite the North’s denuclearization.

However, UN sanctions monitors said in a confidential report, submitted to a 15-member UN Security Council sanctions committee on Friday and seen by reporters on Monday, said that they “found evidence of a consistent trend on the part of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to disperse its assembly, storage and testing locations.”

The UN report said US-led sanctions against Pyongyang were proving ineffective.

“The country continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal,” the monitors found. “These violations render the latest UN sanctions ineffective.”

The monitors said they had evidence of one unprecedented prohibited petroleum product transfer of more than 57,600 barrels, worth more than US$5.7 million.

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