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North Korea arming Syria with chemical weapons

02 March 2018

With air strikes over the East of Ghouta and a pause for relief aid, the Syrian Civil War is flaring up and causing enormous destruction.

Aid was unable to enter the rebel-held region on Tuesday - the first of the five-hour "pauses" in fighting - after clashes continued.

William Newcomb, chairman of the United Nations panel of experts on North Korea from 2011 to 2014, said the report was "an important breakthrough".

Materials allegedly supplied by Pyongyang included acid resistant tiles, valves and pipes which could be utilised in the construction of a chemical plant.

In his address to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Aala also denounced the use of chemical weapons anywhere. The intelligence source told the BBC, the Syrian government's allies, Iran and Russian Federation, are well aware of the manufacturing of chemical weapons at these facilities.

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The report has not been publicly released by was reviewed by the Times.

The chief spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he had not seen the report from the experts who are investigating sanctions violations. Another U.N. report shown to the press in early February said the regime had made $200 million from banned commodity exports in 2017, which included weapons shipments to Syria and Myanmar.

North Korea is already under intense scrutiny and sanctions from the United Nations due to its nuclear program, while the Syrian government, led by Bashar al-Assad, has been accused by the United Nations and other sources of using chemical warfare against the Syrian people in a civil war that is nearing its eight year of combat.

North Korean scientists visited Syria in 2016 and 2017, after the chemical weapons supplies had been sent to the war-torn country.

A United Nations chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria August 29, 2013.

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"The use of chemical weapons has always been reviled by the worldwide community and they are prohibited for very good reasons".

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded that Sarin was used in Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town in Idlib province, last April in an incident that killed more than 80 people.

In a letter to Syrian Major General Ali Salim of the Army Supply Bureau, the panel say Ryu makes an official proposal for "an air defence command and control system".

A plethora of chemical attacks have been reported from crisis-hit Syria in the past 7 years and most recently, the Syrian army came under heavy fire for conducting a chlorine gas attack on a suburb of Damascus.

The SSRC is promoted by the Syrian government as a civilian research institute but a Western intelligence agency told the BBC past year that chemical weapons were being manufactured at three SSRC sites - Masyaf, in Hama province, and at Dummar and Barzeh, both just outside Damascus.

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North Korea arming Syria with chemical weapons