June 22, 2018

DPRK has Supplied Chemical Weapons to Syria

03 March 2018, 12:06 | Simon Arnold

Syria has conducted chemical weapons attacks on civilians in Eastern Ghouta

Syria has conducted chemical weapons attacks on civilians in Eastern Ghouta

It says North Korean missile experts were seen working at Syrian chemical weapons and missile factories.

On Wednesday, a senior U.S. disarmament official blamed Russian Federation for violating its commitments as guarantor of the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile and preventing the Assad government from using them.

Mr Johnson's comments came as a five-hour pause in the regime's assault on the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta, close to the capital Damascus, was beginning.

But as with Tuesday, the truce was marred by violence.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, addressing the Conference on Disarmament, said Syria had eliminated its chemical weapons stockpile and placed its arsenal under worldwide control.

What are the allegations against North Korea?

The chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had not seen the report from the team of experts who are tasked with investigating sanctions violations.

Those who have seen the United Nations report describe it as inconclusive about whether Syria is still producing fresh chemical weapons with North Korea's help, but say the evidence of past collaboration is convincing, including contracts and shipping documents for chemical weapons laboratory materials. "We really wanted to up the game on chemical weapons programmes, and we just weren't able to get what we needed to do so".

United Nations experts say North Korea also sent missile technicians and transferred banned ballistic missiles systems to Myanmar.

The report included Syria's reply to the panel about the information: "There are no [North Korean] technical companies in Syria and the only presence of some [North Korean] individuals are confined in the field of sports under private individual contracts for training athletics and gymnastics". Accusing Damascus, the U.S. then launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, taking the lives of about 20 people including both Syrian soldiers and civilians. The shipments included banned ballistic missile parts and other materials which can be used for both civilian and military purposes.

According to the Times, the report details how Pyongyang consistently uses a complex web of shell companies and sympathetic foreign citizens to gain access to global financing.

Syria has periodically sought to appease the worldwide community on the subject of chemical weapons. Although Syria has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and declared the stock of chemical weapons back in 2013, it has repeatedly been using these banned weapons in the Syrian Civil war.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded that sarin nerve gas was used in Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib province, last April in an incident that killed more than 80 people.

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 experts added that they have not yet received a reply for documents supporting this claim and a list of all North Koreans who have travelled to Syria.

"It figures a regime that puts people in deadly prison camps for their parents' political opposition (North Korea) would have no qualms helping Assad gas Syrian civilians", tweeted Kenneth Roth, the executive director of New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Last week, US President Donald Trump said Washington was imposing a fresh set of sanctions on North Korea, targeting more than 50 ships and maritime transport companies in several countries.

The UN conducts an investigation on North Korea two times a year and reports the crucial findings but never reveal them out to the public.

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