North Korea is still developing its nuclear and missile programmes despite promises made to President Donald Trump of the United States to discontinue the project, a United Nations report has revealed.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had promised President Trump after their summit in Singapore that he was committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
But according to a 62-page U.N. report sent to the Security Council, the UN panel of experts noted that the activity level of some of the isolated country’s nuclear site, as monitored via satellite, was on the increase.
The report also listed violations of a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, seafood and other products that generate millions of dollars in revenue for Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Pyongyang “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” said the report.
The transfer of petroleum products to North Korean tankers at sea remains “a primary method of sanctions evasion” involving 40 vessels and 130 associated companies, it added.
The violations have rendered the latest batch of sanctions “ineffective” by flouting the cap on oil, fuel and coal imposed in a raft of UN resolutions adopted last year, it added.
At a historic June summit with US President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed up to a vague commitment of “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” in the hope of getting UN and US sanctions relief.
Trump, however, has repeatedly warned Pyongyang that the sanctions must remain in place and could even be tightened as long as there is no progress on ending its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
North Korea also “attempted to supply small arms and light weapons (SALW) and other military equipment via foreign intermediaries” to Libya, Yemen and Sudan, said the report.
It named Syrian arms trafficker Hussein Al-Ali who offered “a range of conventional arms, and in some cases ballistic missiles to armed groups in Yemen and Libya” that were produced in North Korea.
With Ali acting as a go-between, a “protocol of cooperation” between Yemen’s Huthi rebels and North Korea was negotiated in 2016 in Damascus that provided for a “vast array of military equipment.”
The panel continues to investigate such military cooperation that would be in violation of an arms embargo on North Korea.