Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

North Korea 'aids Syria's chemical weapons manufacturing'

North Korea 'aids Syria's chemical weapons manufacturing'

The alleged sale of chemical weapons material also comes after the Assad regime agreed to get rid of all of its supplies of such weapons after a deal brokered in 2013 with help from its ally Russian Federation. The Syria-N. Korea military ties go way back.

It said that two United Nations member states had intercepted shipments bound for Syria, and that the goods were suspected to be supplied by North Korea's main arms exporter as part of a contract with front companies representing the SSRC.

The report said among other activities Ryu Jin shipped ball-bearings and fiber-optic cables to Syria and earned 56,000 Euros and 48,000 Euros respectively, which was transferred through Tanchon Commercial Bank. This included materials like tiles that are resistant to acid, pipes and valves. It has also been found that a government agency in Syria has made payments against the delivery of the supplies through different companies.

It has been accused of repeatedly using banned chemical weapons in the civil war since then.

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A separate United Nations panel said Assad's forces were responsible for a sarin gas attack on the rebel-held village of Khan Sheikhoun in April a year ago that killed at least 83 people and sickened roughly 300.

The UN report, which is more than 200 pages long, also emphasized the danger of such a cooperation between the two countries which would allow Syria to maintain its chemical weapons while providing North Korea with funding for its nuclear missile programs. The tiles are said to be used to construct facilities where chemical weapons are produced.

The report included Syria's reply to the panel about the information: "There are no [North Korean] technical companies in Syria and the only presence of some [North Korean] individuals are confined in the field of sports under private individual contracts for training athletics and gymnastics".

Another visit by North Korean ballistic missile experts was conducted in November 2016. A daily five hour ceasefire is meant to grant humanitarian workers the ability to enter these areas and help wounded and stranded civilians. The latter has also allegedly paid North Korea through a number of front companies.

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It shed light on North Korea's broader network of illicit trading, which in nine months past year may have earned it almost $200m (£144m) in oil, gas and weapons deals in violation of United Nations sanctions.

China has denied the allegations of sanctions-breaking.

It comes just days after news of a chemical attack by the Syrian government against the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta, during a 30-day UN-declared ceasefire. Lavrov claims the rebel militants, not the Syrian government, are to blame.

The UN Security Council has taken a resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire across Syria to control the uncontrollable situation. The exports, banned by the UN Security Council resolutions, are said to have earned almost $200 million for North Korea in 2017.

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