UN Report: North Korea Defies UN Sanctions

Posted July 2nd, 2012 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A United Nations report says North Korea continues to violate international sanctions by attempting to ship arms to Burma and Syria, and by importing luxury goods.

The report — by a panel of U.N. experts — also says that new KN-08 ballistic missiles shown at an April military parade could be fake.

The parade was part of huge celebrations in honor of the centenary of the birthday of North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung.

At the same time, the 74-page report mentioned no violations involving nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, or ballistic missiles.

The report, submitted to a U.N. Security Council committee that monitors sanctions, was published Friday. The Associated Press quotes a diplomat at North Korea's U.N. mission as rejecting the findings.

The Security Council imposed sanctions against North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006 and increased them after its second test in 2009. The measures are aimed at preventing Pyongyang from obtaining materials needed for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The U.N. panel found evidence that North Korea has not stopped banned activities, but that illicit transactions have become increasingly difficult and expensive for Pyongyang.

The report cites several cases of attempted shipments of arms-related material to Burma and Syria. It details a shipment of weapons-related material headed for Syria through China that was seized in 2007. And it also lists luxury goods — including used Mercedes-Benz cars, tobacco and alcohol — that have reached North Korea despite the sanctions.