North Korea earned $200 million from banned exports, United Nations report finds

Lydia Fleming
February 5, 2018

North Korea on Saturday condemned the latest US sanctions. and Russian deputy foreign minister Igor Morgulov said Russia had no obligation to carry out sanctions produced by the U.S.

North Korea "continued to export almost all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions, generating nearly $200 million in revenue between January and September 2017", said the report.

The report said there was not enough "political will" and coordination to ensure sanctions were fully working.

"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", the United Nations monitors wrote in the 213-page report.

Concerning North Korea's weapons provision to Myanmar, the report cited an anonymous country as saying it has evidence of the transactions, and that in addition to ballistic missiles Pyongyang also supplied conventional weapons, including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.

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North Korea has continuously defended its right to maintain its nuclear weapons as a means of protecting itself from the United States.

Several unnamed multinational oil companies are also said to be under investigation for trade in petroleum products.

These range from banning coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood to capping crude-oil and refined petroleum products' imports.

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.

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Over the past year, North Korea has been subject to three Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions for detonating its sixth and most powerful nuclear test as well as a spate of ballistic missile tests showing signs of advanced technology.

News of the report came hours after US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said that the US was investigating the Syrian government over reports that it was using the deadly nerve gas sarin on the battlefield.

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.

"We must put an end to illicit ship-to-ship transfers that undermine United Nations sanctions", he said.

So, are Russian Federation and China colluding with North Korea?

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