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North Korea enhances nukes and illicit trade, UN experts say

United Nations experts say they have identified new methods that the country is using to evade sanctions.

NEW YORK — UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say North Korea has increased imports and exports of banned and restricted goods including coal and petroleum products. 

They say the North is also continuing to enhance its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs in violation of U.N. sanctions. 

The experts identified new methods that the country is using to evade sanctions. They said this includes transferring 2.8 million metric tons of coal from North Korean-flagged vessels to Chinese barges which then head to Chinese ports. 

This would violate U.N. sanctions, which ban all exports of coal, North Korea's main foreign exchange earner. 

China vehemently denies violating sanctions. 

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Credit: AP
In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Workers’ Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea.