UN Report: North Korea Sold Weapons to Syria and Myanmar

A draft UN report cited evidence that North Korea sold a ballistic-missile system to Myanmar and that it may be helping Syria with a chemical weapons program

File photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with officials in an undated photo distributed in September, 2017.
/AP

North Korea has sold weapons to Syria and Myanmar, according to a draft UN report quoted by U.S. media on Friday which also accused China and Russia of failing to do enough to curb the country's illegal trade.

The report cited evidence that North Korea has sold a ballistic-missile system to Myanmar and that it may be helping Syria with a chemical weapons program.

It also said that North Korea made around 200 million dollars last year by exporting coal and other commodities in violation of UN sanctions aimed at reigning in the country's nuclear weapons programme.

It said much of the shipments passed through Chinese, Russian, Malaysian and Vietnamese ports and that more than 30 representatives of North Korean financial institutions were operating abroad, including in China and Russia.

Citing intelligence from member countries, the report said that Syria had been sent special acid-resistant tiles in two North Korean shipments which could be used to build the interior walls of a chemical factory.

News of the report came hours after US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said that the US was investigating the Syrian government over reports that it was using the deadly nerve gas sarin on the battlefield.

The report was circulated to the UN committee which oversees North Korean sanctions compliance and is then to be passed on to the Security Council.

The UN has repeatedly tightened sanctions on North Korea over the past year in response to a series of ballistic missile and nuclear tests. In November, Pyongyang said it had tested an intercontinental missile which could reach the entire US mainland.