UN experts find violations of North Korean sanctions
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UN experts find violations of North Korean sanctions

A UN panel of experts on Monday released a report that details numerous sanction violations by North Korea.

Economic sanctions against North Korea were originally imposed to deter nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but these programs have not ceased and the sanctions have been undermined via “illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal.” In 2018 alone, North Korea obtained more than 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum through massive transshipments. The implementation of sophisticated evasion techniques, such as the disguising of shipping vessels and the use of false Automatic Identification System transmissions, has undermined sanction enforcement.

North Korea has also continued to violate an arms embargo by attempting to “supply small arms and light weapons and other military equipment to Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as to Libya and the Sudan, via foreign intermediaries.”

Although the report identifies many ways in which North Korea has violated its sanctions, the report also faults international enabling of North Korea, due to North Korean access to prohibited equipment and goods. Among these illegal acquisitions have been centrifuges, which have furthered its nuclear program, and luxuries such as Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

North Korea has attempted to negotiate the removal of its sanctions, but the UN has been steadfast in recent years to keep—and even increase—sanctions as a peaceable method of discouraging North Korea’s nuclearization.