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N.Korea earned $200m despite United Nations sanctions

N.Korea earned $200m despite United Nations sanctions

In a violation of U.N. sanctions, North Korea exported coal and other banned commodities - earning the country roughly $200 million from the exports a year ago, according to a new report from the United Nations.

The report, which was submitted to the UN Security Council said the North "continued to export nearly all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions. between January and September 2017". United Nations monitors say they found 15 shipments of coal from North Korea to Russia, China, South Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam that violated United Nations caps on North Korean coal exports between January and August of a year ago.

Concerning North Korea's weapons provision to Myanmar, the report cited an anonymous country as saying it has evidence of the transactions, and that in addition to ballistic missiles Pyongyang also supplied conventional weapons, including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.

Its imports of crude oil and other petroleum products are also restricted.

The U.N. monitors underscored that the investigation has shown "further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs".

Have Syria and Myanmar been cooperating with North Korea?

A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva on Oct. 2 2014
A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva on Oct. 2 2014

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

Following the revelation, China's embassy in North Korea denied flouting Security Council sanctions and said in a statement that the two neighbours had maintained "normal trade exchanges".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said violations of maritime operations involving North Korea are a problem. 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.

The report by a panel of experts said many countries including China, Russia and Malaysia had failed to stop the illegal exports, the BBC reported. CNN has obtained key sections of the report from a United Nations diplomat who is not authorized to speak publicly. This sanction came after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in September that sought to isolate North Korea from the worldwide banking system while adding more pressure on its main industry and shipping, The New York Times reported.

Between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 40 previously unreported shipments from North Korea to front companies for Syria's Scientific Studies Research Council (CERS) - which is a key institute for the country's chemical programme.

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