Fartashphoto's Blog

Nuclear Pickle

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on June 1, 2010

Leaked UN report claimed that North Korea is defying UN sanctions and using front companies to export nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria and Burma.

The report, by a panel that monitors sanctions imposed after  conducted nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009, said the regime was using shell companies and overseas criminal networks to export the technology.

The revelations came just hours before the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, arrived in South Korea for a three-day visit certain to be dominated by mounting tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang.

The sanctions report, leaked to journalists in New York, said UN bans on nuclear and ballistic missile technology, and on all arms exports and most imports, were having an effect. But it conceded the North had found ways to circumvent sanctions using companies and individuals who are not subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

The 47-page report contains a long list of sanctions violations reported by UN member states, including four cases of arms exports.

Pyongyang, the panel said, had used “a number of masking techniques,” including falsely labelling the contents of shipping containers and giving inaccurate information about their origin and destination.

North Korea was using “multiple layers of intermediaries, shell companies and financial institutions” to get around sanctions, it added.

The report said the regime had tried to conceal arms exports by sending items in kit form to be built at their destination, and called on recipient countries of North Korean cargo to act with “extra vigilance”.

Pyongyang is also suspected of using overseas criminal groups to transport and distribute “illicit and smuggled cargoes”, possibly including parts for weapons of mass destruction.

The 2009 North Korean nuclear test was the underground detonation of a nuclear device conducted on 25 May 2009 by North Korea. This was its second nuclear test, the first test having taken place in October 2006. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang also conducted several missile tests.

The test was nearly universally condemned by the international community. Following the test, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1874 condemning the test and tightening sanctions on the country.

North Korea is preparing for a third atomic test that may come in May or June, South Korean broadcaster YTN reported, an act that could further isolate Pyongyang and complicate already troubled nuclear diplomacy.

On 1997, Abdul Qadeer Khan is suspected of beginning nuclear transfers to North Korea, though the dates of the first transfers are highly uncertain. Transfers to North Korea are believed to have continued through 2003, but the Pakistani government claims these transfers ceased in 2001. Over this period, Khan may have supplied North Korea with old and discarded centrifuge and enrichment machines together with sets of drawings, sketches, technical data, and depleted uranium hexafluoride.

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