North Korea is helping develop Syria's chemical weapons programme, United Nations says

North Korea earned almost $200 million from exporting coal and other banned commodities a year ago in violation of UN sanctions, according to a new United Nations report. But that's not all.

The 213-page report - seen by multiple news agencies - said North Korea used false paperwork to hide the origin of the coal it shipped to other countries, including Russia, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

China, Russia, Malaysia and other nations are failing to curb sanctioned financial dealings and trade conducted by North Korea in their countries, according to a U.N. report.

The Council banned North Korea from exporting coal in a resolution adopted last August.

Oil prices extend gains on compliance with output cuts
Goldman's bullish outlook is driven by its revised demand forecasts, reflecting stronger economic growth in emerging markets. It highlights that OPEC on the aggregate reduced imports by a total of ~180 million barrels (meeelion barrels) a year ago .

The report was authored by a panel of experts investigating North Korea and has been sent to a United Nations committee on North Korea. So far, no country named has fessed up to accepting improper coal shipments.

The UN monitors also said that one unnamed country reported it had evidence that Myanmar received ballistic missile systems from North Korea.

Following its defiant pursuit of its nuclear and ballistic missile program, North Korea has been subject to global sanctions from the U.S., United Nations and EU. Coal is also said to have been exported to several countries, including South Korea, using, quote, "a combination of multiple evasion techniques, routes and deceptive tactics".

Several dozen times over the past decade, the report said, North Korean weapons have been shipped to Syria to develop a chemical-weapons program. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that more was needed to be done on the issue of maritime interdiction operations when it comes to stopping sanctions violations. "We found that the ships mentioned did not enter our ports, or if they did, then they were carrying cargo that had nothing to do with North Korea", he is cited as saying.

USA ready to hit Syrian chemical weapons
Eastern Ghouta is the last remaining rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus, and has been under a government siege since 2013.

The panel revealed that between 2012 and 2017, there had been over 40 North Korean shipments to companies acting for the research centre overseeing Syria's chemical weapons programme.

The monitors said one country, which they did not name, told them North Korea had carried out such transfers off its ports of Wonsan and Nampo and in worldwide waters between the Yellow Sea and East China Sea between October and January.

Over the past year, North Korea has been subject to three Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions for detonating its sixth and most powerful nuclear test as well as a spate of ballistic missile tests showing signs of advanced technology. China, which accounts for 90% of North Korea's trade, however, claimed that normal trade exchanges like Chinese food, fruit and household products continued.

Kesha's wrenching performance of "Praying" at the 2018 Grammys
Luke denied all allegations and countersued her for defamation. "It's also about hoping everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal".

  • Jermaine Castillo