North Korea reportedly providing Syria with materials used in chemical weapons

  • North Korea reportedly providing Syria with materials used in chemical weapons

North Korea reportedly providing Syria with materials used in chemical weapons

While talking to CNN, the United Nations diplomat said that after sending the chemical weapons supplies to Syria, missile experts from North Korea visited the country in 2016 and 2017 to assess the situation.

Interdicted cargo seen by United Nations investigators in late 2016 and early 2017 included six shipping containers of acid-resistant tiles said to be capable of withstanding high temperatures and corrosive chemicals.

The New York Times quoted the as-yet-unreleased United Nations report that also said that Pyongyang's missile specialists have been seen at Syrian weapon-making facilities.

The report said there were at least 40 shipments of prohibited materials from North Korea to Syria between 2012 and 2017, according to the Times.

Neither the report's authors nor members of the United Nations Security Council who have seen it would comment, and neither would the United States' mission to the worldwide agency.

The experts who make up the panel are all from different countries and possess particular expertise in various areas such as weapons of mass destruction, customs controls and maritime transport.

The New York Times says the report also points out the danger of a relationship between the two countries because any trade could help Syria with chemical weapons and help North Korea keep its own weapons programs up and running.

Those suspicions were not assuaged when Syria signed onto the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 and claimed to give up its chemical weapons stocks. While most of those named were based in North Korea, companies and ships from China, Singapore, Taiwan, Panama, Tanzania, the Marshall Islands and the Comoros were also included. The shipments would have eluded detection despite both nations being under intense scrutiny from American and global spy agencies.

"More than 50 ships and shipping companies were cited by the Treasury Department for evading existing USA and global sanctions".

The global community will be concerned by the findings because, if true, they seem to highlight serious failures in terms of isolating both nations, given that the shipments would have gone undetected despite the fact that both are the subject of stringent sanctions.

It concludes that sanctions are not yet matched "by the requisite political will, worldwide coordination, prioritisation and resource allocation necessary to drive effective implementation".

In an urgent question to the Foreign Secretary, Mr Woodcock said: "The men and women of Ghouta who lie in pieces, deliberately targeted by Assad's Russia-enabled bombs, the dead children whose faces are altered by the chlorine gas that choked them".

Over the period of last week, over 500 people have been killed by airstrikes and shelling conducted by forces loyal to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

One of the SSRC facilities where chemical weapons are said to be manufactured is in Barzeh, one of the manufacturing centers outside of Damascus.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Yakovenko said: "Russia is firmly committed to UN-led peace process and political settlement".

Establishing the origins of such weapons has been hard. Russia, however, has protected Assad from accountability for these actions, using its veto on the U.N. Security Council in November to scuttle a separate panel investigating the use of chemical weapons by actors on both sides of the Syrian civil war.