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U.N. report accuses North Korea of violating sanctions

North Korea violated United Nations sanctions and earned nearly $200 million from banned commodity exports in 2017, according to a confidential report by independent U.N. monitors.

 (Source: NBC News)

(Source: NBC News)

The report to a U.N. Security Council sanction committee was released on Feb 2nd and stated that North Korea had shipped banned materials such as coal, iron, and steel to countries including Russia, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The U.N. Security Council has passed a series of resolutions on North Korea, ratcheting up international sanctions against the country since 2006 in response to its nuclear proliferations threats. The UN Resolution 2371 which was passed in August 2017 bans all North Korea’s exportation of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. Resolution 2375 passed on Sept 2017 not only limited North Korean crude oil and refined petroleum product imports, but also banned joint ventures, textile exports, natural gas condensate, and liquid imports. In addition, North Korean nationals were banned from working abroad in other countries.

 (Source: NBC News)

(Source: NBC News)

“[North Korea] is already flouting the most recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries, and the international banking system,” the U.N. report read. The report claimed that by exporting almost all the commodities prohibited in the U.N. resolutions, North Korea has earned nearly $200 million in revenue between January and September 2017.

North Korea, in order to violate the sanctions, had combined deceptive navigation patterns, signals manipulation, and transshipments as well as false paperwork altering the origin of the exports.

The report also accuses North Korea of military cooperation with Syria and Myanmar, stating that North Korea has been assisting President Assad's government in developing its chemical program despite Syria's agreement to destroy chemical weapons in 2013. Meanwhile, North Korea has provided Myanmar's army with ballistic missiles along with a range of conventional weapons, such as multiple rocket launches and surface-to-air missiles.