lørdag 18. april 2020

North Korea defies sanctions with China's help, UN panel says

North Korea sharply stepped up trade in coal and oil products last year in defiance of UN sanctions through the apparent help of China’s shipping industry, a UN panel has said. The annual report to the UN Security Council by sanctions experts went online on Friday and inexplicably disappeared later in the day, with the text itself noting China’s reservations about the findings. Publishing photographs, shipping logs and submissions from member-states, the panel said that North Korea had violated the total UN prohibition on exporting coal, as well as restrictions on imports of refined petroleum.

“The continued violation by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of commodity export bans not only flouts security council resolutions but serves to fund a revenue stream that has historically contributed to the country’s prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” the report said. The panel, quoting data from an unspecified country, estimated that North Korea exported 3.7m tons of coal between January and August last year, grossing around $370m.

Most coal exports were transferred from North Korean ships to Chinese barges, which often sailed up the Yangtze River to make deliveries, it said.