North Korea uses 'sophisticated means' to avoid UN sanctions

Report also accuses country of using 'complicated financial measures' to make the country's purchase of illegal goods difficult to track

North Korea has developed sophisticated techniques to avoid UN sanctions, including the suspected use of its embassies to allow the illegal trade of weapons, a United Nations report has claimed.

The 127-page report said North Korea was also using more complicated financial countermeasures, making the country's purchase of prohibited goods more difficult to monitor.

"From the incidents analysed in the period under review, the panel has found that (North Korea) makes increasing use of multiple and tiered circumvention techniques," it concluded.

The report is part of an annual accounting of North Korea's compliance with UN sanctions imposed in response to Pyongyang's banned nuclear and missile programmes.

The eight-member panel said North Korean embassies in Cuba and Singapore were suspected of organising an illegal shipment of fighter jets and missile parts that were seized on a North Korean container ship in Panama last year.

Panama seized the Chong Chon Gang ship for smuggling arms from the Societ-era, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tonnes of sugar.

Cuba later acknowledged it was sending "obsolete" weapons to be repaired in North Korea and returned to Cuba after the discovery was made.

According to Reuters, the report states North Korea went to great lengths to obscure the origin of its merchant shipping fleet, and built a complicated corporate network outside the international financial system that it used to purchase both prohibited and permitted goods.

UN sanctions ban North Korea from shipping and receiving cargo related to its nuclear and missile programmes. The importation of some luxury goods is also banned, along with the unlawful transfer of bulk sums of cash.

The panel highlighted an example of an "unusually complex" transaction involving a contract by Air Koryo, the national carrier, to purchase new aircraft in 2012.

It said 109 payments were structured through eight Hong Kong-registered companies, which asserted they were trading partners of Air Koryo and were wiring funds they owed it.

The purchase of civilian aircraft is not prohibited under UN sanctions, but some of the companies appeared to have been recently formed shell entities, the report added.

The North Korean embassy in Singapore could not be contacted for comment, Reuters has reported.

On Monday, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was unanimously re-elected to the country’s parliament after every single eligible person in his constituency turned out to vote – with only his name on the ballot paper.

Each ballot had a single named listed with the option to pick “ yes” or “no”, providing a powerful tool for the government to check up on the movements and potential dissidence of the population.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Anna Smaill’s debut novel, The Chimes, is a fusion of fantasy and romance
booksMan Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Sport
Ji So-Yun scores the only goal of the game
sport
Arts and Entertainment
One of the Pyongyang posters, the slogan of which reads: ‘Let the exploits of the northern railway conductors shine!’
art
Life and Style
Linguine with mussels and fresh tomatoes
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer