Hiding the truth
The North Koreans have been playing the old game of moving its nuclear and ballistic weapons to hide them from potential US military strikes and indulging in double talk, according to a UN Security Council diplomat citing a confidential UN report. The North Korean nuclear and missile programme remains intact and shows no change in their behaviour, says the bi-annual report, even as US President Donald Trump confirmed his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place later this month in Vietnam. Trump has recently praised North Korea for "tremendous progress" in negotiations but this report indicates Pyongyang is trying to keep its nuclear and ballistic program ready to launch. The UN diplomat said the report found "evidence of a consistent trend on the part of the DPRK to disperse its assembly, storage, and testing locations." The panel of experts that compiled the report was established following multiple UN Security Council resolutions aimed at pressing Pyongyang to cease nuclear tests and missile launches. The report was submitted to a 15-member UN Security Council sanctions committee. International sanctions are not working effectively to deter North Korea's nuclear development. North Korea, which has called for sanctions to be lifted, "continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal" the summary alleges. Previous reports have also charged North Korea with these violations. . The diplomat cited the US and Singaporean banks involved in facilitating North Korean fuel payments, as well as "a leading UK insurer that provided protection and indemnity cover to one of the vessels involved." The diplomat said the report found one petroleum transfer worth more than 5.7 million US dollars. The summary also accuses North Korea of violating a UN arms embargo and supplying small arms, light weapons and other military equipment to Libya, Sudan, and Houthi rebels in Yemen, through foreign intermediaries. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met last year in Singapore, where Kim agreed to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." Trump later declared that the meeting had eliminated any nuclear threat posed by North Korea, even though the meeting produced no verifiable proof that the rogue regime will discontinue its nuclear programme, as has been previously revealed. In January, the Pentagon's Missile Defence Review stated that North Korea remains an "extraordinary threat" to the United States. Indeed, in the second summit, the two sides ought to make truth absolutely mandatory in all their negotiations.