UN Report: North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and evade international sanctions

UN experts say North Korea has modernised its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenals by flaunting United Nations sanctions and continues to seek material and technology overseas for use in these programmes.

“It displayed new short-range, medium-range, submarine-launched and intercontinental ballistic missile systems at military parades,“ the experts said. “It announced preparation for testing and production of new ballistic missile warheads and, development of tactical nuclear weapons … and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure.” The Security Council has imposed increasingly tough sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name, since its first nuclear test explosion in 2006. It has banned most of the country’s exports and severely limited its imports, trying to pressure Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

According to the report, North Korea remains able to evade sanctions while developing its nuclear and missile programs, illicitly import refined petroleum, access international banking channels, and carry out “malicious cyber activities.”

A State Department spokesperson said on Monday the administration planned a new approach to North Korea, including a full review with allies “on ongoing pressure options and the potential for any future diplomacy.”

Kim initiated diplomacy with South Korea and met former US President Donald Trump three times, but failed to make progress when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a piecemeal deal partially surrendering its nuclear weapons capabilities.

North Korea’s U.N. mission in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

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