North Korea earned $200 million last year by exporting banned commodities in breach of international sanctions, according to a UN report. The report by a panel of experts said many countries including China, Russia and Malaysia had failed to stop the illegal exports.
Pyongyang is subject to sanctions from the US, UN and EU over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. But the report, which was submitted to the UN Security Council, said the North 'continued to export almost all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions… between January and September 2017'. It said shipments of coal had been delivered to China, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam in breach of sanctions using 'a combination of multiple evasion techniques, routes and deceptive tactics'. China has consistently denied breaching sanctions.
Investigators highlighted that 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 document stated.
Monitors also suggested that Pyongyang supplied weapons to Syria and Myanmar. 'Myanmar and Syria continued to co-operate with North Korea’s main arms exporter, Komid, despite it being on a UN sanctions blacklist,' the report said.
It said 'there was proof that Pyongyang was helping Syria to develop chemical weapons and providing ballistic missiles to Myanmar'. However, Syrian officials told the monitors that the only North Korean experts on its territory were involved in sports. Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN said the country had no arms relationship with North Korea.