A recent United Nations report revealed that two North Korean shipments were intended for the Syrian government agency in charge of chemical weapons, and those shipments were intercepted within the past six months.
The confidential report on North Korea sanctions violations was first revealed by Reuters on Tuesday, which added that the report “gave no details on when or where the interdictions occurred or what the shipments contained.”
“The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea),” the experts wrote in the 37-page report, Reuters reported. “Two member states interdicted shipments destined for Syria. Another Member state informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria.”
KOMID, or Korean Mining Development Trading Corporation, was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council in 2009. Is is known as Pyongyang’s primary arms dealer and exporter of ballistic missile- and weapons-related equipment. And in March 2016, the Security Council blacklisted two KOMID representatives in Syria, Reuters said.
“The consignees were Syrian entities designated by the European Union and the United States as front companies for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), a Syrian entity identified by the Panel as cooperating with KOMID in previous prohibited item transfers,” the U.N. experts wrote, Reuters reported.
“The U.N. experts said activities between Syria and North Korea they were investigating included cooperation on Syrian Scud missile programs and maintenance and repair of Syrian surface-to-air missiles air defense systems. […] The experts said they were also investigating the use of the VX nerve agent in Malaysia to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in February,” Reuters said.