by WorldTribune Staff, March 4, 2018
The United Nations this month will issue a report on Egypt’s facilitation of North Korean weapons shipments in the Middle East and North Africa.
The UN also said North Korea was allowed to use its embassy in Cairo to showcase its current weapons systems that are available for sale.
The UN’s investigation into Egypt’s role in North Korean weapons transfers was heightened in 2016 when a freighter intercepted off the coast of Egypt was found to be carrying 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades worth $23 million concealed beneath a cargo of iron ore.
The vessel, the Jie Shun, had been decorated with Cambodian colors.
The discovery led to the U.S. to delay $300 million in military aid to Egypt.
The UN report will state that the weapons were bound for the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Egypt’s main state weapons conglomerate, which is overseen by President Abdul Fatah Sisi.
Reports said the United States had been tracking the weapons shipment and informed Egyptian authorities that the cargo was in violation of UN sanctions.
The UN further stated that North Korean diplomats have traveled to Sudan while it was under an international trade embargo to discuss the sale of guided missiles.
Meanwhile, the UN reported that Pyongyang had shipped components for the creation of chemical weapons to Syria, including acid-resistant tiles, valves and thermometers. North Korean technicians had also worked at chemical weapons facilities in Syria, the UN said.
The Kim Jong-Un regime is reported to have stockpiles of as many as 25 chemical agents, including sarin and VX nerve gas.
North Korea denies it develops chemical weapons.
“As has been elucidated several times, the DPRK does not have a single record of developing, producing and stockpiling a chemical weapon and it is opposed to chemical weapons,” KCNA quoted a North Korea Foreign Ministry official as saying.
The U.S. has “egged the UNSC Sanctions Committee on” to claim a link between North Korea and Syria, the official said, adding that the allegation is designed to build additional support for Washington’s proposal for a “full-scale sea blockade” of the North and a “military invasion into Syria.”