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Report: North Korea 'experienced' in evading U.N. sanctions

Understanding North Korea

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Story highlights

  • U.N. report: North Korea using its embassies to evade sanctions
  • It says former NBA star Dennis Rodman and his party took luxury goods to Pyongyang
  • They included alcohol and sporting goods

North Korea uses multiple techniques to defy sanctions, and shows no signs of abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, according to a U.N. report.

An eight-member panel of experts said the country "is experienced in actions it takes to evade sanctions," including using its embassies.

North Korean embassies in Cuba and Singapore facilitated its banned arms trade as proven by the North Korean ship, Chong Chon Gang, which was caught with undeclared weaponry from Cuba in July, the report said.

The amount of money made from this trade is subject to debate, but "there is no question that it is one of the country's most profitable revenue sources," according to the report.

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In addition, the report said it investigated allegations that former NBA star Dennis Rodman and his party took luxury goods to Pyongyang in recent months.

While not explicitly accusing Rodman of defying U.N. sanctions on luxury goods, it said there was evidence.

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"Media reports corroborated by the panel indicate that among items taken by Dennis Rodman and his party during their visits were sporting goods from various countries, five bottles of vodka (United States), one bottle of whiskey (Ireland), two whiskey glasses and one whiskey decanter (Ireland), and a Mulberry handbag (United Kingdom) ) taken by Paddy Power, a company based in Ireland."

The report said some of these items are on the U.S. or E.U. lists of banned luxury goods.

"This illustrates the importance of informing individuals and companies of their obligations under the resolutions," it said.

The panel said its investigation is ongoing.

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