North Korea twice attempted to ship material to Syria’s chemical weapons agency, UN experts say

North Koreahas twice been caught attempting to ship material to Syria’s chemical weapons agency in the past six months, according to a confidential UN report prepared by a panel of experts.

Two unnamed countries intercepted the shipments. Their contents were not disclosed in the 37-page report.

But the shipments were destined for what are believed to be front companies for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) – a Syrian government agency which has overseen the country’s chemical weapons programme since the 1970s.

The shipments were sent by KOMID, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation – an organisation blacklisted by the UN security council in 2009, and described as Pyongyang’s key arms dealer and exporter of equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. 

In March 2016 the council also blacklisted two KOMID representatives in Syria.

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