North Korea providing chemical weapons to Syria, reveals United Nations diplomat

Posted March 02, 2018

The UN report was compiled by a panel of experts appointed in 2016 to monitor global sanctions levied on North Korea because of its nuclear programme.

The materials include acid-resistant tiles, valves and pipes, the BBC said on Wednesday quoting the media reports.

The materials were part of some 40 previously unreported shipments between 2012 and 2017. It is suspected that Syria got chemical weapons and missile technologies while North Korea secured funds for its nuclear and missile programs. Syria renounced chemical weapons and agreed to the supervised destruction of its declared chemical-weapons arsenal in 2013, but the Syrian military has continued to use small amounts of sarin and other toxins in the country's civil war, apparently from hidden or reconstituted stocks.

AP obtained details from the more than 200-page report late Tuesday, including the panel's findings related to chemical weapons in Syria.

For many years, the panel said the DPRK Corst Company acted on behalf of the Second Economic Committee, which is under sanctions, to ship goods to Syria for use in prohibited programs. North Korean missile technicians were reportedly spotted working at chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

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In addition to the methods identified by the United Nations panel, North Korea sends its illegal exports on ships flagged by different countries, which acquire new names, new (fraudulent) registrations, and new shell-company owners, Bloomberg Politics reports.

"The use of chemical weapons has always been reviled by the global community and they are prohibited for very good reasons".

The Sunday attack killed one little boy and hospitalised 18 other people who first responders said had symptoms consistent with exposure to the poison gas.

The Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) - a Syrian government agency - is alleged to have paid North Korea for the equipment via a number of front companies.

The report has not been publicly released by was reviewed by the Times.

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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. Syria denied this report, saying that the only North Koreans present in Syria were sports coaches and athletes.

Much information was provided by unidentified United Nations member states.

Since taking office more than a year ago, President Trump has met North Korean threats and bombast with fiery rhetoric in kind, but American demands for denuclearization - a US precondition for potential talks, dangled by the North as the Olympic Games wrapped up on Sunday - are widely considered likely to be futile.

The U.S. -led coalition and its Kurdish partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, are battling the last remnants of the so-called Islamic State in areas east of the Euphrates river in Deir Ezzor.

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