By Kambiz Foroohar / Bloomberg News
NEW YORK — North Korea received almost $200 million from January to September 2017 from exports of coal, iron, steel and other commodities banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions meant to crack down on Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, according to a UN report.
Coal was delivered to China, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam by ships using a combination of “deceptive navigation patterns, signals manipulation, transshipment,” independent UN monitors said in the confidential report, which was seen by Bloomberg.
The report noted that increased sanctions have created lucrative markets for North Korean traders to procure petroleum products and export natural resources, and that more action is needed to stop such oil and coal transfers.
The report also warned of continuing cooperation on ballistic missile development between North Korea and Myanmar and Syria, which have been providing logistical support, military technicians and intelligence operations and using front companies.
In January, the Trump administration announced a new round of sanctions targeting North Korea’s oil industry and shipping companies, and individuals or entities in China and Russia, two countries the U.S. says needs to do more to rein in Kim’s nuclear weapons program.