UNITED NATIONS — North Korea is avoiding UN sanctions and providing banned nuclear and ballistic equipment to Iran, Syria and Myanmar, according to a UN report released on Friday.
China had blocked publication of the report which has been ready for six months, diplomats said.
North Korea is involved with "the surreptitious transfer of nuclear-related and ballistic missile-related equipment, know-how and technology" to countries including Iran, Syria and Myanmar, said the report by experts who answer to the UN Security Council sanctions committee.
The experts called for "special attention" to be taken by the international community "to inhibit such activities" and for more detailed investigation into the sophisticated means used by North Korea to circumvent the sanctions.
North Korea staged one nuclear test in 2006 and claims it set off another nuclear device in 2009 and the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on imports and exports and an asset freeze on a number of individuals.
"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea employs a broad range of techniques to mask its transactions, including the use of overseas entities, shell companies, informal transfer mechanisms, cash couriers and barter arrangements," said the report.
North Korea had been involved in nuclear talks with China, the United States, Russia, Japan and South Korea. But the last talks were in late 2008 and the isolated North pulled out of the negotiations the following year.
© AFP 2013