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North Korea continued work on nuclear program despite sanctions, UN says

North Korea continued work on nuclear program despite sanctions, UN says
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A panel of United Nations experts said North Korea continued its nuclear development program through 2020 despite international sanctions.

Pyongyang "produced fissile material, maintained nuclear facilities and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure” despite sanctions, according to the report, viewed by CBS News.

An unnamed member state also told the panel North Korea and Iran have “resumed cooperation on long-range missile development projects,” although it notes that Tehran has denied this claim.

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“Preliminary review of the information provided to us by the Panel indicates that false information and fabricated data may have been used in investigations and analyses of the Panel," Iranian officials told the panel. The panel had previously examined ties between Tehran and the state-owned Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, which has also been accused of sanction evasion, CBS reported.

The report further states that North Korea held numerous military parades through the year highlighting "short range, medium range, submarine-launched and intercontinental ballistic missile" technology.

Sanctions and border controls against the country have largely prevented North Korean coal exports since last July, but the report said the country engaged in “elaborate subterfuge” to import refined oil.

Data and images from an anonymous member state for the first nine months of 2020 indicated "illicit shipments exceeded the annual aggregate 500,000-barrel cap by several times."

The annual report also concluded last year that the country had continued work on nuclear and ballistic missile programs, while an earlier report indicated it had evaded U.N. sanctions and raised up to $2 billion, according to CBS News.

The same report indicated North Korea has financed missile developments through cyber warfare, stealing approximately $316.4 million since 2019.

“Preliminary analysis, based on the attack vectors and subsequent efforts to launder the illicit proceeds strongly suggests links to [North Korea],” the report said, according to The Associated Press.