North Korea Evades Coal Sanctions-Redirects Shipping Routes

Unveiling monuments to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang. (File)

N Korea Redirects Coal Exports From China to Evade Sanctions – Classified Report

© Sputnik/ Iliya Pitalev

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North Korea has established coal exports to countries in Southeast Asia in avoidance of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program, a classified UN report obtained by Kyodo News Agency showed Saturday.

TOKYO (Sputnik) — After the suspension of North Korean coal imports by China, the major consumer of North Korean exports, in February, Pyongyang has found a market for its coal in other states, including Malaysia and Vietnam, the report said, as quoted by the agency.

North Korea has continued to export almost all commodities prohibited by the sanctions, thus generating at least $270 million in revenues since February, the report noted.

The global community has so far failed to curb financing for North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, the document added, noting that the processes aimed at making Pyongyang abandon its weapons of mass destruction have been undermined lately by the lax enforcement of existing sanctions and Pyongyang’s evolving evasion techniques.The UNSC has repeatedly adopted resolutions condemning North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and imposing various sanctions on Pyongyang. Despite that, Pyongyang has continued developing its nuclear and weapons program.

New UNSC sanctions, introduced on August 15, include a full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from North Korea. The restrictions are also imposed on increases of the number of work authorizations for North Korean nations by UN member states. The new resolution also bans investment activities in relation to North Korea, such as joint ventures, and designates several additional individuals for a travel ban and assets freeze, as well as imposing an assets freeze on some entities.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called on Beijing to increase economic pressure on North Korea as China is Pyongyang’s biggest trade partner.China is by far the largest trading partner of North Korea. In April, the Chinese General Administration of Customs said trade between the two countries in the first quarter increased 37.4 percent year-over-year, even despite the UN sanctions on North Korean supplies of coal, the country’s top export earner.

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