North Korea has not stopped developing its nuclear and missile programs despite international sanctions, according to a new report by the United Nations.
The report states that Pyongyang has escalated sanctioned activities such as ignoring financial restrictions, transferring coal at sea and defying an arms embargo by attempting to sell weapons to the Houthi movement in Yemen.
The report said North Korea “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” according to The Guardian.
This report comes after United States analysts revealed satellite images showing a missile plant in construction in North Korea.
U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was no longer a threat following their summit in Singapore earlier this year. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said the nation was closer to denuclearization.
However, President Trump has since said that there is no rush on denuclearization and recently thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for keeping his word on returning the remains of American soldiers who were killed during the Korean War.
Pyongyang is currently under a range of international and U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program. Kim Jong Un has reportedly met with China’s leader Xi Jinping several times to discuss sanction relief.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Russia, China, and other countries against any violation of international sanctions in order to pressure Pyongyang into halting its nuclear programme.
Mr. Pompeo said it was important to maintain “diplomatic and economic pressure” on North Korea to achieve “the final, fully verified denuclearization,” according to the BBC.
Pyongyang has since responded to Pompeo’s comments by reassuring the United States that North Korea “stands firm” in its commitment made during the Singapore summit in June.
North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong-ho added the following “What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old, far from its leader’s intention.”
The tension between the two nations has been escalating with North Korea accusing Mike Pompeo of “gangster-like” behavior following his last visit to Pyongyang.
The Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA have expressed doubt that that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un North Korea has any intention of full denuclearization.
During the annual Asian security forum in Singapore, Pompeo said on Friday that while there’s “still a ways to go,” the United States remains “confident” in North Korea’s commitment to denuclearize.