North Korea exported coal to South and Japan via Russia

1/26/2018 7:17:00 PM
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Tehran (KNA) - North Korea shipped coal to Russia last year which was then delivered to South Korea and Japan in a likely violation of U.N. sanctions

The U.N. Security Council banned North Korean exports of coal last Aug. 5 under sanctions intended to cut off an important source of the foreign currency Pyongyang needs to fund its nuclear weapon and long-range missile programs.

But the secretive Communist state has at least three times since then shipped coal to the Russian ports of Nakhodka and Kholmsk, where it was unloaded at docks and reloaded onto ships that took it to South Korea or Japan, the sources said.

A Western shipping source said separately that some of the cargoes reached Japan and South Korea in October last year. A U.S. security source also confirmed the coal trade via Russia and said it was continuing.

“Russia’s port of Nakhodka is becoming a transhipping hub for North Korean coal,” said one of the European security sources, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of international diplomacy around North Korea.

North Korean coal exports were initially capped under a 2016 Security Council resolution that required countries to report monthly imports of coal from North Korea to the council’s sanctions committee within 30 days of the end of each month.

Source: Reuters

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