UN Experts: North Korea Tried to Sell Arms to Houthis

Saturday, 4 August, 2018 – 11:00 – Asharq Al-Awsat – This photo taken on Feb. 8, 2018 and released on Feb.9, 2018 by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Hwasong-15 ballistic missile during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army in Pyongyang.

North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and is flouting an arms embargo by trying to sell weapons to Yemen’s Houthi insurgents and other entities, UN experts said in a new report.

A summary of the report by experts monitoring UN sanctions against North Korea, which was sent to the Security Council Friday night, said North Korea is also violating sanctions by transferring coal at sea.The panel of experts said North Korea attempted to sell small arms and light weapons and other military equipment via foreign intermediaries.It said that experts were investigating efforts by the North Korean Ministry of Military Equipment and Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) to supply conventional arms and ballistic missiles to the Houthis.

The report also said North Korea has continued military cooperation with Syria, in breach of UN sanctions.The panel said it is continuing to investigate sanctioned individuals, companies and other entities in Asia that clandestinely procured centrifuges for North Korea’s nuclear program and attempted to sell a wide range of military equipment to governments and armed groups in the Middle East and Africa.

The Security Council first imposed sanctions on North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006 and has made them tougher in response to further nuclear tests and its increasingly sophisticated ballistic missile program.The report said North Korea “has not stopped its nuclear and missiles programs” and continues to defy the sanctions resolutions.The experts said ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, oil and coal involve “increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques.” The United States said last month that North Korea is illegally smuggling refined petroleum products into the country beyond the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under UN sanctions.