N. Korea makes RM778m by dodging UN sanctions


NEW YORK • North Korea received almost US$200 million (RM778 million) between January and September 2017 from exports of coal, iron, steel and other commodities banned under United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions meant to crack down on Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, according to a confidential report.

Coal shipments were delivered to China, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam by ships using combination of “deceptive navigation patterns, signals manipulation, transshipment”, independent UN monitors said in the report, which was seen by Bloomberg News.

The report noted that increased sanctions have created lucrative markets for North Korean traders to procure petroleum products and export natural resources, and that more action is needed by countries to stop such oil and coal transfers.

The panel of experts’ report also warned of cont inuing cooperation on ballistic missile development between North Korea and Myanmar and Syria, which have been providing logistical support, military technicians and intelligence operations.

The UN Security Council on Dec 23 approved new steps tightening the screws on North Korea’s economy following the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile in November.

The latest restrictions were meant to slash imports of refined petroleum products, restrict shipping and impose a deadline for expatriate North Korean workers to be sent home.