Monday, 17 December, 2018

DPRK has Supplied Chemical Weapons to Syria

Syria Cannot Use Chemical Weapons Because It Has None - Syrian Envoy to UN UN report links North Korea to Syria's chemical weapons program
Carol Daniels | 02 March, 2018, 04:30

The reclusive state sent more than 40 unreported shipments to Syria between 2012 and 2017, according to a panel of experts. The Times reported that it reviewed a copy of the document.

In addition to helping arm its fellow human-rights violators in Syria and Myanmar, North Korea has a well-documented history of exporting heroin and methamphetamine; state entities there reportedly ramped up production of these drugs in response to the tightening of sanctions previous year.

One was the interception in January 2017 of two ships carrying acid-resistant tiles from North Korea to Syria, with three other such contracted shipments revealed via paper tracking, although whether or not they were actually made remains unclear.

North Korea and Syria have a history of cooperation going back decades.

The Syrian government is reported to have told the United Nations panel that the only North Koreans present in Syria are sports coaches and athletes.

On Tuesday, news surfaced that North Korea traded ballistic missile parts and apparent chemical weapons supplies with Syria. Damascus allegedly paid for these supplies via a government agency, The Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), and several front companies.

It has been accused of repeatedly using banned chemical weapons in the civil war since then.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday night that according to United Nations investigators, "North Korean missile technicians have also been spotted working at known chemical weapons and missile facilities inside Syria". He also said that the use of such weapons as "immoral and unacceptable".

A spokesperson for the Syrian government said: "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".

Protesters urge Hatch to cast deciding Senate vote on net neutrality reversal
That means proponents need just one more vote for the CRA to pass the Senate. The CRA is essentially the last hope for net neutrality advocates.

West Bank and Gaza to Close for Purim
Israel restricts fishing to a seasonally adjusted zone of between six and nine nautical miles. Palestinian fishermen work on their fishing boat in Gaza sea port on February 3, 2018.

PM launches subsidised 'Amma' 2 wheeler scheme, calls for women empowerment
Earlier in the day Chief Minister Palaniswami and his deputy Paneerselvam unveiled a statue of Jayalalithaa at the AIADMK office. Talking about the Jan Dhan Yojana, he said that out of 31 crore Jan Dhan accounts, women hold about 16 crore accounts.

Another visit by North Korean ballistic missile experts was conducted in November 2016.

Later on Tuesday, Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko was called to the Foreign Office to discuss the situation in Syria, when Europe minister Sir Alan Duncan stressed United Kingdom concerns about the crisis in eastern Ghouta and the need for a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, air strikes were heard in the Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus as a second daily pause in fighting was due to get under way to allow in relief aid. A daily five hour ceasefire is meant to grant humanitarian workers the ability to enter these areas and help wounded and stranded civilians.

North Korea is under global sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivers a speech during the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The details come just days after activists in Ghouta reported a suspected poison gas attack.

Earlier this month, the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic launched an investigation into reports of the alleged use of chlorine in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Eastern Ghouta.

Lack of access to licit export markets may even encourage such countries to traffic in highly profitable black-market commodities like illegal weapons and drugs.

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