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N. Korea flouted UN sanctions: report

North Korea has pressed ahead with its nuclear and missile programmes and continues to evade UN sanctions through increased illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products at sea, a UN report said on Friday.

In a 62-page report sent to the Security Council, the UN panel of experts also listed violations of a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, seafood and other products that generate millions of dollars in revenue for Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Pyongyang “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” said the report, seen by AFP.

The transfer of petroleum products to North Korean tankers at sea remains “a primary method of sanctions evasion”, involving 40 vessels and 130 associated companies, it added.

Sanctions ‘ineffective’

The violations have rendered the latest batch of sanctions “ineffective” by flouting the cap on oil, fuel and coal imposed in a raft of UN resolutions adopted last year, it added.

At a historic June summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Mr. Kim signed up to a vague commitment of “denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula” in the hope of getting UN and U.S. sanctions relief.

Mr. Trump, however, has repeatedly warned Pyongyang that the sanctions must remain in place and could even be tightened as long as there is no progress on ending its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

North Korea also “attempted to supply small arms and light weapons and other military equipment via foreign intermediaries” to Libya, Yemen and Sudan, said the report.

It named Syrian arms trafficker Hussein Al-Ali, who offered “a range of conventional arms, and in some cases ballistic missiles to armed groups in Yemen and Libya” that were produced in North Korea.

North Korea continued to receive revenue from exports of banned commodities, for instance deliveries of iron and steel to China, India and other countries that generated nearly $14 million from October to March.

North Korean diplomats play a key role in sanctions evasion by setting up multiple bank accounts, the report added.

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