NORTH KOREA: FOOLING AROUND WITH THOSE UN SANCTIONS

EMILY CAPOUYA WRITES — According to a United Nations confidential report, North Korea has violated resolutions made with the United Nations Security Council by continuing to enhance its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons program

Recently, a summary of the report was submitted to the UN Security Council. Six sections of the annual report that have not been released to the public contain further information regarding the reportedly illicit actions committed by North Korea.

The report, prepared by a panel of experts appointed by the UN, reveals that North Korea is in violation of UN Security Council sanctions. The Democratic Republic of Korea has continued to develop capacity and infrastructure for its  missile program, as demonstrated by a section of the document reported on CNN, stating that North Korea’s ballistic missile program was “characterized by its intensity, diversity and coherence.” 

In order to develop weapons, North Korea continues to evade financial sanctions. By using joint ventures with foreign companies, CNN reports, “North Korea uses illicit external procurement for components and technology.” Also according to the report, exports of coal and sand have provided additional revenue for weapons programs that have historically contributed to nuclear and ballistic programs. 

In 2017, the Security Council passed a notable resolution punishing North Korea for weapons development by banning the country from exporting coal, iron and seafood to other foreign states. Yet evidence has been submitted to the panel that indicates a direct violation of U.N. resolutions saying, for example, that refined petroleum products are being illicitly imported through ship-to-ship transfers and direct deliveries by foreign-flagged vessels — that  coal has been sent to three Chinese ports in Hangzhou Bay and the Yangtze river. Although China has repeatedly denied helping North Korea evade its sanctions, one UN member country claimed that North Korea exported at least a million tons of sand from river dredging to Chinese ports, collecting at minimum $22 million. 

UNSC sanction resolutions are only as effective as enforced by council members by their actions.

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