North Korea sent ballistic missile and chemical weapons components to Syria along with missile technicians in violation of UN sanctions, UN experts said.
A panel of experts monitoring Pyongyang’s transfer of prohibited ballistic missile, conventional arms and dual use goods discovered more than 40 previously unreported shipments to Syria between 2012 and 2017.
The regime also gave banned ballistic missiles systems to Burma along with multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.
Syrian children and adults receive treatment for a suspected chemical attack at a makeshift clinic on the rebel-held village of al-Shifuniyah in the eastern Ghouta
Smoke rising from a building in eastern Ghouta as attacks by the Assad regime continue
Arms sales, flouting of oil and gas sanctions, and illegally exporting commodities netted North Korea £144m in just nine months last year, their report said.
Syria is accused of of using chemical weapons against rebel-controlled areas including recently in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, which President Bashar Assad’s government denies.
North Korea’s Ryonhap-2 Corporation was in 2008 involved in a Syrian ballistic missile program, the ‘manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle (MARV) Scud D (MD) project,’ the report said.
In August 2016 a technical delegation was ‘involved the transfer to Syria of special resistance valves and thermometers known for use in chemical weapons programmes’.
An unnamed UN member state reported that Syria ‘continues to operate at chemical weapons and missile facilities at Barzeh, Adra and Hama’.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley holds up photos of victims of a Syrian chemical attack in 2017
The report said Syria denied the charges but didn’t supply documents supporting this claim and a list of all North Koreans who have travelled to Syria
‘There are no DPRK technical companies in Syria and the only presence of some DPRK individuals are confined in the field of sports under private individual contracts for training athletics and gymnastics,’ it said.
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.
The report also detailed previously unreported arms shipments and cooperation with North Korean front companies for those under UN sanctions between 2010 and 2017.
The transactions ‘showed further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs’, it said.
The panel also examined 13 shipping containers shipped to Syria from a Chinese company filled with ‘acid resistant tiles’ that could be used to make a chemical factory.