April 03, 2019 12:08
North Korea blatantly violates international sanctions by continuing to export coal, new evidence suggests.
The website 38 North at Johns Hopkins University on Monday published photos apparently documenting North Korea's coal supply networks through the ports of Nampo and Rajin.
The UN Security Council has banned all North Korean coal exports due to concerns that the proceeds are being used to finance the country's nuclear weapons program.
But a satellite captured images of 21 vehicles transporting coal in Nampo on March 13, and another satellite photo from March 24 shows what appear to be cargo transport ships anchored there.
Earlier, the UN Security Council pointed to Nampo as the hub of North Korea's illegal coal shipments.
"While the presence of vessels seems to have been reduced significantly, shipping has not stopped, and throughout this period, the probable coal stores on the wharf, while shifting in size and placement, have remained robust," 38 North said.
Photos from last month also show huge mounds of a dark substance that appears to be coal piled up in Rajin. "There are a number of reports which reference the Russian and Chinese laundering of coal shipments," the website said.
North Korea is believed to be disguising the shipments as originating from other countries. "Coal can be moved from the Rajin coal port by rail to Russia via the Rajin-Khasan Railway, although nothing has been observed on satellite imagery to support this is taking place," 38 North added.
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