According to a confidential UN report, North Korea has been providing Syria with materials that may be used in the manufacturing of chemical weapons. The claims came amid recent reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria’s bombarded eastern Ghouta.

A North Korean missile test

A North Korean missile test Photo Credit: EPA

North Korea supplied Syria with materials and equipment that may be used for manufacturing chemical weapons, according to various reports citing a confidential yet-to-be-released UN document. According to the reports, about 40 of such shipments were made between 2012 and 2017.

The alleged 50 tons of shipped materials included acid-resistant tiles, valves and thermometers, according to the New York Times. The document came amid recent reports of another chemical weapons attack in Syria’s besieged eastern Ghouta, where violent clashes between the regime forces and Syrian rebels continue.

The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Sunday launched an investigation into the reported use of chemical weapons, according to a Reuters report citing anonymous sources. The suspected incident resulted in the death of a child and several injured people.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the death of at least seven people in airstrikes on the region on Tuesday. These were apparently carried out during, before and after the 5-hour “humanitarian pause” announced by Russia on Monday.  

As reported by JOL last month, a similar confidential UN monitor report seen by Reuters claimed North Korea earned nearly $200 million from exports in 2017. Pyongyang has also reportedly been supplying materials to war-torn Syria and Myanmar and sent out shipments to the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, a body that oversees the chemical weapons program in the country.