A report seen by Agence France-Presse revealed that North Korea illegally imported refined petroleum products last year far more than what is permitted under the annual threshold set by the UN sanctions.
Pyongyang can import up to 500,000 barrels per year, but from January to September last year, the isolated regime received petroleum products that “exceeded this limit” “several times,” according to the expert team’s report submitted to the UN Security Council.
Citing “Pictures, Data and Accounts,” the new report claimed at least 121 shipments of refined petroleum products. – Like gasoline and diesel – Delivered to North Korea by unnamed member state tankers and others.
The shipments represent the latest circumvention by Pyongyang of an international embargo aimed at stopping the development of its weapons by stifling the revenues needed to keep its economy running.
Despite multiple sets of penalties – Including restrictions on Pyongyang’s oil imports and a ban on its exports of coal, fish and textiles – Analysts say the country has continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal.
Nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been stalled since the collapse of a summit between Kim Jong Un and then US President Donald Trump over sanctions relief and what North Korea might want to give up in return.
The UN Panel of Experts also said North Korea continues to produce fissile material – A critical component of nuclear weapons – More than $ 300 million in cryptocurrency was stolen through cyberattacks to support its banned nuclear programs.
“The total theft of Pyongyang’s virtual assets from 2019 to November 2020 is estimated to be worth 316.4 million US dollars,” the report said, citing a UN member state.