Friday, February 14, 2014

N.Korea used complex network to evade sanctions

A UN report says North Korea used a complex network to evade detection of one of its cargo ships found to be carrying weapons last summer off Panama.

The unpublished report was compiled by a panel of experts investigating the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea. UN sources have told NHK about the report's findings.

The bulk of the annual report focuses on the North Korean freighter seized by Panamanian authorities near the Panama Canal in July on its way from Cuba to North Korea. The ship was found to be carrying Soviet-era fighter jets and missile-related components hidden under tons of sugar.

The panel determines that both the shipment and the transaction between Cuba and North Korea constituted "sanctions violations."

The panel said the captain of the freighter received instructions from Ocean Maritime Management Company, which is headquartered in Pyongyang but also has offices in China and Russia. The panel determined that this company is the actual operator of the ship.

The panel said Ocean Maritime Management Company also made use of a Singapore-based shipping company for payments of costs related to the voyage.

The panel has recently turned over the report to the UN committee that is charged with overseeing the implementation of the Security Council sanctions.