United Nations report says North Korea aided Syrian chemical weapons projects

Syria Cannot Use Chemical Weapons Because It Has None - Syrian Envoy to UN

UN report links North Korea to Syria's chemical weapons program

According to the confidential report, seen by the BBC, North Korea sent illicit supplies to Syria which included high-heat, acid-resistant tiles, corrosion-resistant valves and thermometers.

The Syrian government had deployed buses to the al-Wafideen crossing point, near the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Douma, on Tuesday, to allow residents to evacuate through a so-called humanitarian corridor established with help from Russian Federation.

Syria's Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Hussam Edin Aala on Wednesday refuted the "false allegations" made by some countries against his government, saying, "Syria can not possibly be using chemical weapons because it very simply has none in its possession".

Syria told the panel: "There are no DPRK technical companies in Syria and the only presence of some DPRK individuals are confined in the field of sports under private individual contracts for training athletics and gymnastics". Details about North Korea's alleged shipments to Syria were first reported by the New York Times and Britain's Express newspaper.

Korea has been sending material to Syria to manufacture chemical weapons.

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China responded to the UN panel's findings, saying it had no "evidence demonstrating the Cheng Tong Trading Co has business with" any North Korean entities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

But Western officials and nonproliferation experts have long suspected that Assad retains some chemical weapons.

The Syrian regime has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons and did so again on Wednesday, claiming that "terrorist groups" including the Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State (ISIS) had obtained some stocks.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded that Sarin was used in Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town in Idlib province, last April in an incident that killed more than 80 people.

The U.S. -led coalition and its Kurdish partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, are battling the last remnants of the so-called Islamic State in areas east of the Euphrates river in Deir Ezzor.

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Sanctions failing to prevent the de facto crime family that runs North Korea from making money is particularly unsurprising if one considers the effects sanctions have had on other misbehaving regimes in the recent past.

The New York Times says the report also points out the danger of a relationship between the two countries because any trade could help Syria with chemical weapons and help North Korea keep its own weapons programs up and running.

Syria and North Korea have decades-old military ties.

A spokesperson for South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said they were closely watching North Korea's attempts to evade United Nations sanctions.

North Korea has also supported Syria's chemical-weapons program since at least the 1990s.

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President Donald Trump has sought to pressure North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, using personal insults and threats of "fire and fury" if the regime continues its march toward developing a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States.

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