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Front companies, embassies mask North Korean weapons trade: UN

Published on Mar 12, 2014 6:37 AM

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korea has developed sophisticated ways to circumvent United Nations (UN) sanctions, including the suspected use of its embassies to facilitate an illegal trade in weapons, a report issued on Tuesday said.

The UN report said North Korea was also making use of more complicated financial countermeasures and techniques "pioneered by drug-trafficking organisations" that made tracking the isolated state's purchase of prohibited goods more difficult.

The report, compiled by a panel of eight UN experts, is part of an annual accounting of North Korea's compliance with layers of UN sanctions imposed in response to Pyongyang's banned nuclear weapons and missile programmes. The panel reports to the UN Security Council.

"From the incidents analysed in the period under review, the panel has found that (North Korea) makes increasing use of multiple and tiered circumvention techniques," a summary of the 127-page report said.

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