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North Korea reportedly aiding chemical weapons production in Syria

02 March 2018

At least 40 unreported shipments from North Korea to Syria between 2012 and 2017 included prohibited ballistic missile parts and supplies, according the report.

The report also cites that North Korean missile technicians have been spotted working at known chemical weapons and missile facilities inside Syria. The allegations come after new reports of chlorine gas being used by Syrian forces, which the government denies.

Relief aid could not reach the war-torn area held by rebels on Tuesday, during 1 of the 5 pauses.

Activists blamed government air and artillery strikes, while Russian Federation said rebels had shelled a "humanitarian corridor" meant to let civilians leave.

In 2002 George W Bush, as USA president, coined the phrase the axis of evil to label three countries, Iran, Iraq and North Korea, as sponsors of terrorism that also sought the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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The supplies from North Korea include acid-resistant tiles, valves and thermometers.

For its part, the Syrian government refuted the report, saying that the United Nations experts had not done any investigations directly at the scene of the incident.

The report indicates major flaws in worldwide efforts to isolate both countries, and the new evidence could dampen efforts to bring North Korea to the negotiating table following a diplomatic detente at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The fact that North Korea is already under global sanctions over its nuclear program, puts the country in an even more precarious position following the United Nations report.

The eight members of the panel who produced the report are from different countries and have expertise in many fields relating to how weapons of mass destruction are created, how they are shipped between states to circumvent detection and whether sanctions are being busted.

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Syria signed up to the worldwide ban on chemical weapons in 2013, as part of a deal brokered by Moscow to avert US air strikes in retaliation for a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds of people, which Washington blamed on Damascus.

"The use of chemical weapons has always been reviled by the worldwide community and they are prohibited for very good reasons".

As mentioned by BBC news, more than 80 people were killed in a chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria on the 4 of April. Myanmar said in January it was "investigating the United Nations experts' requests for information".

Before that attack, however, Syria participated in a Moscow-brokered deal in 2013 to prevent the USA from using air strikes in response to a nerve gas attack it blamed on Syria.

These investigations highlighted important new evidence on North Korea's ongoing sanctioned activities, as well as innovative evasion techniques, through the use of a dual system to validate the documents of the shipments and mask illegal activities.

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North Korea reportedly aiding chemical weapons production in Syria