North Korea sending Syria chemical weapons supplies

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An earlier United Nations report, whose contents were leaked last August, found that two shipments of chemical weapons from North Korea to Syria had been intercepted earlier in the year.

These materials were included in shipments of prohibited ballistic missile parts and materials that could be used for military and civilian purposes, according to the report.

The U.N. Security Council may be briefed on the report as soon as this week.

The panel said it received documents in July 2017 showing Corst shipped banned goods to a researcher at Syria's Scientific Studies Research Council, which the US says is the government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them. Such materials have multiple potential uses, one of which is the production of chemical weapons.

The report says there is "new substantial evidence" about North Korea's involvement with Syria since 2008.

In over 200 pages, the leaked report detailed dealings between the two countries dating back to 2008, when a North Korean corporation named Ryonhap-2 became involved in a Syrian ballistic missile programme, according to an unnamed member state.

North Korea is engaged in the seemingly inexorable pursuit of nuclear weapons capable of menacing the United States, and Syria's civil war continues to unleash fresh barbarities even as the conflict is poised to enter its eighth year.

The military-related cooperation, if confirmed, indicates major shortcomings in the global effort to isolate both countries. The shipments would have eluded detection despite both nations being under intense scrutiny from American and global spy agencies.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov, addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, responded that Syria has eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles and placed them under worldwide control, despite "absurd claims" against the Assad government.

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The UN report also highlights its efforts to illicitly trade with dozens of countries and groups in the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America.

The sanctions, it says, have yet to be matched "by the requisite political will, global coordination, prioritisation and resource allocation necessary to drive effective implementation". After that, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to destroy Syria's chemical weapons and his country joined the Chemical Weapons Convention. That attack brought the the brink of attacking Damascus until an eleventh-hour deal struck with Russian Federation saw Assad give up his chemical weapons arsenal.

The shipments allegedly contained acid-resistant tiles - which can be used for activities conducted at high temperatures - at a quantity that would cover the area of a large scale industrial project.

The allegations come after new reports of chlorine gas being used by Syrian forces came to light.

"The people listening to us, listening to this programme in eastern Ghouta can not get the idea that the West is going to intervene to change the odds dramatically in their favour".

The Associated Press says the United Nations report could be made public in the middle of March.

Establishing the origins of such weapons has been hard.

North Korean scientists visited Syria in 2016 and 2017, after the chemical weapons supplies had been sent to the war-torn country.