UN experts: North Korea sent banned chemical items to Syria
UNITED NATIONS – The Associated Press
North Korea sent items used in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs to Syria along with missile technicians in violation of U.N. sanctions - and banned ballistic missiles systems to Myanmar, U.N. experts have said.
The panel of experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea said its investigations into Pyongyang’s transfer of prohibited ballistic missile, conventional arms and dual use goods found more than 40 previously unreported shipments to Syria between 2012 and 2017.
It said an unnamed U.N. member state also reported evidence of Myanmar’s receipt of a range of conventional weapons from North Korea including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles in addition to ballistic missile systems.
The Associated Press reported on Feb. 2 that according to the experts’ report, North Korea was flouting U.N. sanctions on oil and gas, engaging in prohibited ballistic missile cooperation with Syria and Myanmar, and illegally exporting commodities that brought in nearly $200 million in just nine months last year.
AP obtained details from the more than 200-page report late on Feb. 27, including the panel’s findings related to chemical weapons in Syria.
The U.S. and other Western nations have accused Syria of using chemical weapons against rebel-controlled areas including recently in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, which President Bashar Assad’s government denies.
The report to the U.N. Security Council, which diplomats expect to be made public in mid-March, details “substantial new evidence” about North Korea’s dealings with Syria, dating back to 2008.
According to an unidentified member state, the North’s Ryonhap-2 Corporation was involved that year in a Syrian ballistic missile program, the “maneuverable re-entry vehicle (MARV) Scud D (MD) project,” the report said.