UN Experts: North Korea Seeking to Arm Houthis

File photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. KCNA/Reuters
File photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. KCNA/Reuters
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UN Experts: North Korea Seeking to Arm Houthis

File photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. KCNA/Reuters
File photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. KCNA/Reuters

United Nations sanctions monitors have accused North Korea of violating a UN arms embargo and attempting to sell weapons to armed groups in the Middle East, including Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs "remain intact,” the experts said in a new report to the Security Council.

The panel found that Pyongyang “is using civilian facilities, including airports, for ballistic missile assembly and testing with the goal of effectively preventing 'decapitation' strikes."

It also found evidence of a consistent trend on the part of North Korea “to disperse the assembly, storage and testing locations."

The experts said the country continues to defy UN economic sanctions, including through "a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal."

A huge increase in such transfers "render the latest United Nations sanctions ineffective by flouting the caps” on North Korea's import of petroleum products and crude oil as well as the coal ban imposed in 2017 by the Security Council in response to Pyongyang's unprecedented nuclear and ballistic missile testing," the experts said.

As for the arms embargo, the experts said North Korea attempted to supply small arms, light weapons and other military equipment via foreign intermediaries to Libya, Sudan and Houthi insurgents in Yemen.

The experts said they also investigated North Korean involvement in gold mining in Congo, construction of a military camp in Sierra Leone, the sale of fishing rights in waters surrounding the country, and other activities around the world banned under UN sanctions.

"Financial sanctions remain some of the most poorly implemented and actively evaded measures of the sanctions regime," said the panel.

The report was sent to Council members as US President Donald Trump is preparing for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.



Foreign Leaders React to Biden Ending Reelection Campaign

 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at a Chief of the Defense Staff change of command ceremony between Gen. Wayne Eyre and Gen. Jennie Carignan at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, on Thursday, July 18, 2024. (The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at a Chief of the Defense Staff change of command ceremony between Gen. Wayne Eyre and Gen. Jennie Carignan at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, on Thursday, July 18, 2024. (The Canadian Press via AP)
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Foreign Leaders React to Biden Ending Reelection Campaign

 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at a Chief of the Defense Staff change of command ceremony between Gen. Wayne Eyre and Gen. Jennie Carignan at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, on Thursday, July 18, 2024. (The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at a Chief of the Defense Staff change of command ceremony between Gen. Wayne Eyre and Gen. Jennie Carignan at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, on Thursday, July 18, 2024. (The Canadian Press via AP)

Following are some reactions from foreign leaders and officials to US President Joe Biden's decision on Sunday to end his campaign to seek reelection in November:

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU

"I’ve known President Biden for years. He’s a great man, and everything he does is guided by his love for his country. As President, he is a partner to Canadians — and a true friend. To President Biden and the First Lady: thank you."

GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ, ON X

"Joe Biden has achieved a great deal: for his country, for Europe, for the world. Thanks to him, transatlantic cooperation is close, NATO is strong and the USA is a good and reliable partner for us. His decision not to run again deserves recognition."

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER KEIR STARMER:

"I respect President Biden's decision and I look forward to us working together during the remainder of his presidency," Starmer said in a statement.

"I know that, as he has done throughout his remarkable career, President Biden will have made his decision based on what he believes is in the best interests of the American people."

ISRAELI MINISTER OF DEFENSE YOAV GALLANT

"Thank you President Joe Biden, for your unwavering support of Israel over the years. Your steadfast backing, especially during the war, has been invaluable. We are grateful for your leadership and friendship."

SPANISH PRIME MINISTER PEDRO SANCHEZ ON X:

"All my admiration and recognition for the brave and dignified decision of the president @JoeBiden. Thanks to its determination and leadership, the US overcame the economic crisis after the pandemic and the serious assault on the Capitol and has been exemplary in its support for Ukraine in the face of Putin's Russian aggression. A great gesture from a great president who has always fought for democracy and freedom."

IRISH PRIME MINISTER SIMON HARRIS:

"On behalf of the people and government of Ireland. I ... would like to thank you Mr President for your global leadership and your friendship as you make your announcement that you will not stand in the 2024 US Presidential election," Harris said in a statement.

"Joe Biden, in all the offices he has held, has always been an unwavering voice and passionate worker for peace on the island of Ireland and our country owes him a great debt for this."

KREMLIN SPOKESMAN DMITRY PESKOV, SPEAKING TO SHOT NEWS OUTLET:

"The elections are still four months away, and that is a long period of time in which a lot can change. We need to be patient and carefully monitor what happens. The priority for us is the special military operation," Peskov said, referring to the war in Ukraine.

NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER JONAS GAHR STOERE:

"I respect President Joe Biden's decision not to run for re-election. He justifies the decision by saying that he wants to put the country before himself. That reasoning commands respect," Stoere said in a statement to Reuters.

"Joe Biden has been one of America's most prominent politicians over several decades, and a president who has carried out several important reforms. I particularly commend him for his leadership in NATO and look forward to working with Biden as the president of the United States until the end of January."

POLISH PRIME MINISTER DONALD TUSK ON X:

"Mr. President @JoeBiden, many times you have made difficult decisions that have made Poland, America, and the world safer, and democracy and freedom stronger. I know that you were guided by the same principles when announcing your latest decision. Perhaps the most difficult one in your life."

CZECH PRIME MINISTER PETR FIALA ON X:

"It is undoubtedly the decision of a statesman who has served his country for decades. It is a responsible and personally difficult step, but it is all the more valuable. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the USA that a good president emerges from the democratic competition of two strong and equal candidates."