An investigation by a UN Security Council committee has revealed military cooperation between the Assad regime and North Korea including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs in violation of a sanctions imposed on Pyongyang under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
The report to a UN Security Council sanctions committee, seen by Reuters last Friday, said that they had investigated ongoing ballistic missile cooperation between the Assad regime and Myanmar, including more than 40 previously unreported North Korea shipments between 2012 and 2017 to Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre, which oversees the country’s chemical weapons program.
The investigation has shown “further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs,” the U.N. monitors wrote.
They also inspected cargo from two North Korea shipments intercepted by unidentified countries en route to Syria. Both contained acid-resistant tiles that could cover an area equal to a large scale industrial project, the monitors reported.
One country, which was not identified, told the monitors the seized shipments can “be used to build bricks for the interior wall of a chemical factory.”
The report warned of catastrophic consequences for international peace and security, in reference to fear of a nuclear war.
Assad’s chemical weapons came to the forefront again after the US administration said it suspected the Assad regime might be developing new types of chemical weapons. US officials did not rule out the launch of military strikes against the Assad regime following reports of new chemical attacks in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
A report by a joint investigation of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons previously found the Assad regime responsible for over 20 chemical weapons attacks in Syria, prompting Russia to use its veto power three times to prevent the extension of the investigation.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Moscow of backing Bashar al-Assad’s regime, stressing that Russia bears fundamental responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)