North Korea uses front companies, embassies to mask weapons trade - UN reportUpdated: 2014-03-12 08:40:29 (KST)
North Korea has developed a number of sophisticated ways to get round UN sanctions on illegal weapons trading.
A UN report, issued on Tuesday as part of an annual accounting of North Korea's compliance with UN sanctions, says North Korea's embassies in Cuba and Singapore have helped facilitate illegal arms deals.
The report adds that there's a relatively complex "corporate ecosystem" of foreign-based firms that help the regime evade scrutiny of its financial dealings.
The panel cited an example of a contract by North Korea's national carrier, Air Koryo , to purchase new jetliners in 2012.
It said more than 1-hundred payments were structured through eight Hong Kong-registered companies.
While the purchase of civilian aircraft is not prohibited under UN sanctions, the report says such unusual activity could be used as a test-run for illegal transactions.
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