August 7, 2017 | Quoted by Peter Woriskey - The Washington Post

North Korea’s ‘humanitarian’ exports paid for weapons programs, U.S. says

The U.N. Security Council’s move to block countries from buying North Korean coal plugs a large loophole that allowed Chinese companies to import more North Korean coal after the first U.N. ban in 2016.

Previous bans have allowed Pyongyang to sell coal for “humanitarian” trade, but Saturday’s vote banned all coal sales in an effort to choke off funding for Kim Jong Un’s weapons programs, where much of the money was funneled, according to recent U.S. court filings.

These court filings “show that the Chinese — their banks or their government or their companies — are either complicit in sanctions evasion or refusing to ask the right questions,” said Anthony Ruggiero, a former official with the Treasury and State departments, now a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Given their relationship with North Korea and the history, the Chinese should have known that the North Korean government only allows profits to go to one of three purposes — the weapons program, the military or luxury goods for the elite.”

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North Korea