North Korea Made $200M Off Banned Coal Exports

North Korea Made $200M Off Banned Coal Exports

North Korea Made $200M Off Banned Coal Exports

The experts report to the UN Security Council, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, said North Korean diplomats "continue to play a key role in the country's prohibited programs".

A UN panel of experts says North Korea earned almost 200 million dollars previous year from commodity exports banned by UN Security Council resolutions.

A visit by a North Korean technical delegation in August 2016 involved the "transfer of special resistance valves and thermometers known for use in chemical weapons programs", said the report.

Last year, the Security Council adopted a series of resolutions to tighten and expand exports bans aimed at cutting off revenue to North Korea's military programmes.

The US 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 US mainland could soon be within reach.

A United Nations panel of experts also found evidence of military cooperation by North Korea to develop Syria's chemical weapons programs and to provide Myanmar with ballistic missiles.

The report to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee states these shipments were mostly made by doctoring paperwork to show the coal came from Russian Federation or China. Both contained acid-resistant tiles that could cover an area equal to a large scale industrial project, the monitors reported.

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The UN monitors also said one country, which they did not identify, reported it had evidence that Myanmar received ballistic missile systems from North Korea, along with conventional weapons, including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.

Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013.

North Korean financial institutions, including banks which have been sanctions by the council, "maintain more than 30 overseas representatives who live and move freely across borders in the Middle East and Asia, where they control bank accounts, facilitate transactions and deal in bulk cash", the report said.

The report noted that increased sanctions have created lucrative markets for North Korean traders to procure petroleum products and export natural resources, and that more action is needed by countries to stop such oil and coal transfers.

The panel of experts said 2018 offered a "critical window of opportunity before a potential miscalculation with disastrous implications for global peace and security".

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 worldwide waters between the Yellow Sea and East China Sea between October and January.

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