U.S. researchers trace NKorea sanctions evasion

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. researchers say they have found evidence that companies in China and Russia have been marketing machine tools produced by a blacklisted North Korean company in possible violation of U.N. sanctions.

The United Nations imposed sanctions on Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture Corp. in January 2013 for allegedly supporting the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Member states are obligated to freeze assets of Ryonha and companies acting on its behalf. But a U.N. report this March said Ryonha was still apparently operating in a number of countries under aliases.

The researchers from the nongovernment Center for Nonproliferation Studies on Tuesday identified what they believe are front companies in China and Russia. They say the companies’ website marketing materials demonstrate they’ve been selling machinery produced by Ryonha in North Korea.

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