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> North Korea earned nearly $200 million last year by exporting banned commodities in violation of international sanctions. That according to a confidential UN report, as seen by Reuters on Friday. It said North Korea had shipped coal to ports including Russia, China, and Malaysia, mainly by using false documents.
Those documents listing countries like Russia and China as the origin of the coal instead of North Korea. Pyongyang has been subject to sanctions in a bid to choke funding for its ballistic atom missiles program. But according to the report, North Korea is flouting UN resolutions, allegedly by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries, and the international banking system.
The report added there was also evidence that North Korea had supplied weapons to Syria and Myanmar. Investigators looked at 40 previously unreported North Korean shipments between 2012 and 2017 to Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center, a body which oversees the country's chemical weapons program. Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013.
But diplomats and weapons experts suspect Syria may have secretly maintained or developed a new chemical weapons capability. The UN monitors also said that one unnamed country reported it had evidence that Myanmar received ballistic missile systems from North Korea. Myanmar's UN ambassador said that Myanmar government has no ongoing arms relationship whatsoever with North Korea.
Both the North Korean and Syrian missions to the UN have yet to respond to the allegations. According to the report, several unnamed multinational oil companies are also now being investigated for their alleged role in supplying petroleum products to North Korea.