February 08, 2019 13:51
The Panel of Experts of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea has concluded that Pyongyang is still earning hard currency by various illegal means and sanctions are often ineffective.
The panel highlighted a "massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal." More than 50 ships and about 160 companies from around the world are involved in the illegal ship-to-ship transfers with the North, the report said.
The panel cited evidence of an unprecedented amount of ship-to-ship transfers of 57,000 barrels of refined oil products worth W6.3 billion (US$1=W1,126).
Both the ships and cargo were disguised. Major companies, U.S. and Singaporean banks, and a British insurance company were reportedly involved.
The report also points out that the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programs "remain intact" and that spent nuclear fuel rods could possibly be reused to extract plutonium. It adds that the North is assembling and storing missiles at various non-military facilities in preparation for any "'decapitation' strikes."
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