Jeffrey LewisUNSC Experts Panel on DPRK Sanctions

A couple of weeks ago, the AP’s Edith Lederer cited a report by a UN panel of experts that stated “Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Myanmar.”

Arms Control now has obtained a copy of the Report to the Security Council from the Panel of Experts established Pursuant to Resolution 1874.

The document is much more interesting than the “lede” of the AP story would suggest. (The full AP story is, I think, rather good.) Rather than being about what the DPRK has been importing and exporting (illicit cargo, of course!), the report is really about how North Korea goes about selling and buying arms, as well as the challenges associated with interdiction.

So, for example, there is a description of North Korea’s use of “a chartered jet owned by a company in the United Arab Emirates, registered in Georgia, leased to a shell company registered in New Zealand and then chartered to another shell company registered in Hong Kong,” which the report notes “may have been an attempt to mask the aircraft’s true destination.” You think?

To Lederer’s credit, if you took the time to read through the entire AP story, the account of the jet and much more is in there. (The description of the jet’s provenance I cite, for example, is her description.)

But, in case you just looked at the headline, like I did, or the lede grafs and thought I already knew North Korea would sell anything to anyone, take a second look at the full text of the report and its discussion of the mechanics of the proliferation.

Fascinating stuff.


  1. Allen Thomson (History)

    This is sort of a meta-point, but I think the report is useful as an indication of what the panel think[s] are problems worthy of attention. Because I’m interested in the Syrian and Myanmarian matters, I noticed that those were mentioned as being worthy of attention and follow-up.