United Nations links N.Korea to Syria chemical weapons

Man with a child are seen in hospital in the besieged town of Douma Eastern Ghouta Damascus Syria

A U.N. spokesman said that since 2006, the U.N. Security Council has required North Korea "to cease export of arms and related material as well as items relevant to nuclear, ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction-related programs". Those include use of an "incredibly sophisticated" network of shell companies, financial feints and cyber-sown diversions to evade sanctions, he said.

It details "substantial new evidence" about North Korea's dealings with Syria dating back to 2008 via Ryonhap-2 and Komid, the pariah state's main weapons companies.

The U.N. report also laid out the details of how North Korea is able to evade global sanctions by employing a complex web of shell companies and a network of sympathetic individuals in foreign countries that provide access to financing.

A United Nations diplomat told CNN earlier this year, North Korea made roughly $200 million in 2017 from exporting banned commodities, specifically coal, in flagrant violation of United Nations sanctions.

People inspect the rubble of damaged buildings after several airstrikes a day earlier, rebels-held Douma, Eastern Ghouta.

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The JIM's report alleged that there was sarin nerve gas used in the attack and that it was drawn from stockpiles that the Syrian government, which had been destroyed as part of a 2013 deal with the USA and Russian Federation - a process the OPCW itself signed off on as having been completed that November.

"Russia needs to be on the right side of history on this issue".

As North Korea's government becomes "more desperate", Nauert said, it will look for "different, creative" means of funding what she called its "criminal regime".

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Yakovenko said: "Russia is firmly committed to UN-led peace process and political settlement".

As per the report, the components were part of at least 40 previously unreported North Korean consignments to Syria between 2012 and 2017. Myanmar expelled one North Korean diplomat a year ago for dealings with a banned North Korean company. Despite a retaliatory US strike ordered by Trump in 2017, worldwide reaction has been largely confined to diplomatic hand-wringing.

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Those who have seen the United Nations report describe it as inconclusive about whether Syria is still producing fresh chemical weapons with North Korea's help, but say the evidence of past collaboration is convincing, including contracts and shipping documents for chemical weapons laboratory materials.

It said an unnamed United Nations 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 tiles are said to be used to construct facilities where chemical weapons are produced, the BBC said.

The report indicates major flaws in global efforts to isolate both countries, and the new evidence could dampen efforts to bring North Korea to the negotiating table following a diplomatic detente at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Director of Research for the Middle East at Amnesty International Lynn Malouf said the pact represented "a betrayal of humanity".

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