Report: More than 60 countries violated sanctions with North Korea last year
06 Jul 2020

Sixty-two countries violated United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea over a one-year period, according to a report from a Washington, D.C.-based think tank

The Institute for Science and International Security report, released Wednesday, cites over 250 alleged violations from February 2019 to February 2020 based on data compiled by the United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea.

The 62 countries in violation represented an increase of six countries compared to the previous year, according to the institute.

China topped the chart with more than 60 alleged violations and Hong Kong followed with over 20. Sierra Leone, Russia and Indonesia each had a total of 10 or more alleged violations and several countries, including India, Italy, Singapore and Vietnam, had more than five violations each.

South Korea made the list for violating sanctions that included entities selling luxury goods to North Korea, including a pair of armored Mercedes Benzes, and importing coal from the North.

The United States was also listed as a country through which payments related to vessels and shipping were routed.

The report noted, however, that South Korea and the United States were among the countries “reported to have taken remedying actions since becoming aware of the violations and to have prosecuted or extradited responsible companies and individuals.”

In May, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment charging 28 North Koreans and five Chinese citizens with operating a money-laundering scheme worth billions of dollars to help fund the North’s nuclear weapons program.

The United States also issued guidance in May for the maritime industry and energy sector to help avoid practices that countries such as North Korea use to evade sanctions, including secretive ship-to-ship transfers done at sea and the disabling of automatic identification systems on vessels.

The Institute for Science and International Security report found that nine countries were involved in arms sales and other military-related cooperation with North Korea, including China, Egypt, Iran and Syria.

By Thomas Maresca, UPI, 2 July 2020

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