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North Korea earned $200M from banned exports, sends arms to Syria, Myanmar

05 February 2018

But a report submitted to a United Nations sanctions committee says the North earned at least 196 million dollars through exports of coal to China, Russia, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as through shipping minerals and products.

The UN report claimed that previous year, North Korea earned almost $200 million by exporting banned commodities in breach of global sanctions.

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. China, Russia and Malaysia are failing curb sanctioned finance and trade by North Korea, according to a United Nations report.

It said there was evidence of military co-operation with Syria and Myanmar.

The latest UN sanctions, announced in December, were estimated to reduce the nation's petrol imports by up to 90%.

The shipments were made mainly using false paperwork that showed countries such as Russian Federation and China as the origin instead of North Korea, it said.

It pointed out "extensive use of a combination of multiple evasion tactics including indirect routes, detours, loitering, false documentation, trans-shipment through third countries" and other methods to obfuscate routes and hide the origin of North Korean coal.

The monitors added that they had investigated an ongoing ballistic cooperation between Syria and Myanmar, which also includes over 40 unreported North Korean exports between 2012 and 2017 to Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre, Reuters reported.

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This sanction came after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in September that sought to isolate North Korea from the global banking system while adding more pressure on its main industry and shipping, The New York Times reported.

"Technicians continue to operate at chemical weapons and missile facilities at Barzei, Adra and Hama", a member-state, which was not named, told the panel.

Under a 2016 resolution, the UN Security Council capped coal exports and required countries to report any imports of North Korean coal to the council sanctions committee.

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

The committee said Malaysia reported one shipment during this time, while the remaining 15 violated sanctions. The UN monitors said all those shipments "would constitute a violation of the resolution, if confirmed".

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

North Korea has received similar economic sanctions. The largest imports ranged from oil to high tech products such as computers and video displays, while Pyongyang's largest exports were textiles and coal.

Syria denied co-operation with North Korea on their chemical weapons programmes, saying that the only experts it was hosting from the country were involved in sports.

North Korea earned $200M from banned exports, sends arms to Syria, Myanmar