DPRK procuring ballistic missile equipment underground — U.S.

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By Harrison Arubu
New York, Sept. 1, 2020 The United States has warned that North Korea is employing “deceptive techniques” to procure materials for its ballistic missile programmes.

The warning came in an industry advisory jointly issued by the Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce on Tuesday.

The 19-page document identifies key procurement entities and clandestine techniques allegedly used by North Korea’s missile programme.

It listed the entities to include the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS) and the Second Economic Committee (SEC).

According to the advisory, North Korea “uses an extensive overseas network of procurement agents”.

These, it said, include “officials who operate from North Korean diplomatic missions or trade offices, as well as third- country nationals and foreign companies”.

The document also contains a list of 30 items allegedly used in the country’s ballistic missile development efforts.

In a media note, the Department of State said “North Korea’s continued efforts to expand its ballistic missile capabilities pose a significant threat to both regional and global stability”.

It warned that any country aiding the communist state, even unknowingly, might be subject to U.S. and international sanctions.

The department urged the private sector to remain vigilant to efforts by the reclusive country to acquire missile-related technologies and equipment, including those specified in the advisory.

It said: “In 2017, North Korea conducted its inaugural tests of intercontinental ballistic missile systems.

“Over the past year, it has continued to test launch ballistic missiles in violation of a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

“The United States is committed to working with our international partners to help limit the threat posed by North Korea’s missile development efforts.

“We are poised to disrupt North Korea’s attempts to procure technologies for these programmes and promote accountability for those entities and individuals assisting its ballistic missile programmes.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pyongyang is under various U.S. and U.N. Security Council sanctions followed its nuclear and missile tests.

The country last conducted its nuclear test, the sixth of its kind, in September, 2017.

This came shortly before its leader, Kim Jong-un, held a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June, 2018.

North Korea is believed by the U.S. to have gone underground in its nuclear development programmes after the second Kim-Trump summit, held February, 2019, ended without a deal.

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