PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea has continued development of its nuclear and missile programs, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by Reuters.
The country conducted 13 missile tests last year and launched roughly 25 missiles.
This included new short-range and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, according to the report.
It mentioned that North Korea has continued to "develop infrastructure and capacity" to enhance its missile program.
Report says that the country also exported tons of commodities such as coal using Chinese barges, even though North Korea has been banned from doing so since 2017.
DPRK-flagged vessels would transfer over the commodities to local Chinese barges, a method known as ship-to-ship transfer, which would then deliver the goods to ports in Hangzhou Bay and the Yangtze River in China.
In a statement, China called the accusations "baseless," and said that it is implementing U.N.
Sanctions against North Korea.
According to the report, North Korea also continued to illegally import refined petroleum using the same method.
The country has been allowed to import 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum under current sanctions, but the report found that North Korea exceeded the limit "many times over," between January 1 and October 31 of last year, reports Reuters.
North Korea's allies, Russia and China, have both raised concerns saying that the U.N.
Sanctions are causing harm to civilians in North Korea, according to Reuters.
The United States, France and Great Britain have all said that sanctions should not be lifted.
North Korea has been sanctioned by the United Nations since 2006, Reuters reports.
Members of the U.N.
Security council have imposed harsher sanctions against the country over the years to deprive the country of funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.