North Korea is skirting sanctions — United Nations consultants

N. Korea earned RM777 million from banned exports says UN

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.

It also said that North Korea made around 200 million dollars previous year by exporting coal and other commodities in violation of United Nations sanctions aimed at reigning in the country's nuclear weapons programme.

The UN Security Council in 2016 and 2017 adopted a series of resolutions to expand bans on North Korea exports created to cut off revenue to Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. It banned all exports of coal by North Korea on Aug 5, 2017. In addition, Pyongyang reportedly traded arms with Syria and Myanmar.

But despite the sanctions, the report reveals that China and Russian Federation allegedly received coal from North Korea - contradicting previous claims that both countries were adhering to terms of the sanctions.

The confidential report to a U.N. Security Council sanctions committee also referenced information that the reclusive country provided ballistic missile systems to Myanmar.

The monitors said they had investigated ongoing ballistic missile cooperation between Syria and Myanmar, including more than 40 previously unreported North Korea shipments between 2012 and 2017 to Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre, which oversees the country's chemical weapons program. In 2013, Panamanian forces confiscated a North Korea-flagged ship after undeclared Cuban weapons and fighter jets from the Soviet era were found under sacks of sugar.

In September, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed restrictions on eight North Korean banks and 26 people operating in four countries, in an attempt to weaken the Kim Jong Un regime.

It also indicates that North Korea exported coal to China, Malaysia, Russia and Vietnam, in addition to falsifying‎ documents to hide the origin of the coal.

The report also pointed out that 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.

After the coal ban was imposed on 5 August, the United Nations monitors investigated 23 coal shipments to ports in Russia, China, South Korea and Vietnam.

The report said "if confirmed, it would constitute the resolution's violation".

"The DPRK combined deceptive navigation patterns, signals manipulation, transshipments as well as fraudulent documentation to obscure the origin of the coal", the monitors said. 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.

The report also revealed that several unnamed multinational oil companies were being investigated for their alleged role in supplying petroleum products to North Korea.

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.

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