North Korea is helping develop Syria’s chemical weapons : UN

Syria_chemical_weaponsThe UN found evidence of military co-operation by North Korea to develop Syria’s chemical weapons programmes.

According to a panel of experts, both Syria and Myanmar continue to work with North Korea’s main arms exporter, KOMID, which is on the UN’s sanctions blacklist.

Between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 40 previously unreported shipments from North Korea to front companies for Syria’s Scientific Studies Research Council (CERS) — which is a key institute for the country’s chemical programme.

The UN report released on Friday said there was “substantial new evidence” pertaining to Pyongyang’s military co-operation with Damascus, including at least three visits by North Korean technicians to Syria in 2016.

One North Korean technical delegation in August 2016 involved the “transfer of special resistance valves and thermometers known for use in chemical weapons programmes”, the report said.

“Technicians continue to operate at chemical weapons and missile facilities at Barzei, Adra and Hama,” a member-state, which was not named, told the panel.

Syria denied co-operation with North Korea on their chemical weapons programmes, saying that the only experts it was hosting from the country were involved in sports.

Meanwhile, the report said the North Korea was providing Myanmar with “ballistic missile systems … in addition to a range of conventional weapons, including rocket launches and surface-to-air missiles”.

The UN said that North Korea is flouting sanctions by exporting coal, iron, steel and other banned commodities, earning nearly $200 million (Dh734.5m) in revenue in 2017.

North Korean diplomats, in particular trade representatives, continue to provide logistical support for arms sales and help organise exchanges for military technicians, it said.

While sanctions have been significantly broadened, this “expansion of the regime is yet to be matched by the requisite political will” to implement the measures, the experts said.

The panel said 2018 offered a “critical window of opportunity before a potential miscalculation with disastrous implications for international peace and security.”

North Korea “continued to export almost all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions, generating nearly $200 million in revenue between January and September 2017”, said the report.

Coal shipments were delivered to China, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam by ships using “a combination of multiple evasion techniques, routes and deceptive tactics”.

Abdel Hameed al-Youssef cradles the bodies of his nine month old twins after they were killed in a suspected chemical attack on Idlib in Syria on April 4, 2017.
Abdel Hameed al-Youssef cradles the bodies of his nine month old twins after they were killed in a suspected chemical attack on Idlib in Syria on April 4, 2017.

Last year, the Security Council adopted a series of resolutions to tighten and expand exports bans aimed at cutting off revenue to North Korea’s military programmes.

The US led the push for tough economic sanctions after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test and a series of ballistic missile launches that raised fears that the US mainland could soon be within reach.

Seven ships have been barred from ports worldwide for violating UN sanctions with coal and petroleum transfers, but the experts said much more must be done to confront “these rampant illicit activities”

The panel found that North Korea “is already flouting the most recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries, and the international banking system”.

THE NATIONAL

 

  • Omega

    Evidence would be nice for a change this time.

    • Y K

      You can check “Syria Times”. I hear it’s very reliable. It’s reputation is so great, it was even sold in the Soviet Union! 🙂

      • Omega

        I was hoping for something in the line of hard, irrefutable facts/evidence. So far, it’s been non-existent. 🙂

        • Y K

          Irrefutable evidence for every claim? Not happening, not anywhere, and certainly not in Syria, where all parties to the conflict (even the Kurds) are reprehensible at least to some extent. There is one irrefutable fact, though: the Assad regime, which manages to combine sectarianism, a totalitarian ideology, and Oriental tyrannical practices, has zero legitimacy.

          • Omega

            I thought this was about the “chemical” only.

            US claimed Syria/Russia used them but provided no evidence to date.

  • Niemals

    Syrian civilians treated for ‘suffocation’ after Saraqeb airstrikes. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f5d9eec41fc6a51ed6bff0fa0e7bae6aae7408d9f90bf58be5b99401e498251.jpg Several civilians were being treated for “suffocation” after airstrikes in rebel-held areas in northern Syria. The Syrian government denied US accusations last week it had used chemical weapons on opposition forces.

    Assad denies he used chemical weapons
    The Syrian foreign ministry denied accusations made by the US last week that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons on opposition forces near the capital Damascus in January.
    US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told said on Friday the US was concerned sarin gas may have been used, citing reports from NGOs and rebel groups.

    These reports said toxic gas has been used, although Mattis said the US had no proof to support these accusations.

    The Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group said on Sunday that three of its rescuers and six others had been injured in Saraqeb.
    Volunteer search and rescue workers with the “White Helmets” posted a video on Sunday which they said showed their teams responding after an “attack with chlorine gas.”
    https://twitter.com/SyriaCivilDef/status/960261610454618113
    (AFP, AP)

    • Omega

      “White Helmets”

      (laughing)

      Rather, ISIS wearing white helmets.

  • I wonder when the Rothschild/Rockefeller controlled UN will demand free and unhindered inspection of Israel’s chemical and nuclear weapons?