N Korea importing luxury goods via China despite sanctions: Report

A US congressional report urges China to take more firm stance toward North.

Washington: North Korea is still able to import luxury goods through China despite an embargo under UN economic sanctions against the country, a US congressional report has revealed.

The report on the implementation of the 2009 UN Security Council resolution said, ``North Korea continues to use air and land routes through China with little risk of inspection, and luxury goods from China and from other countries through China continue to flow almost unabated to Pyongyang.``

It said China`s ``minimalist approach`` to implementing sanctions on the North has made it difficult to strengthen measures any further in a UN context.

``In addition, North Korea reportedly uses front companies in China to procure items under sanction,`` the report said, adding that ``China constitutes a large gap`` among countries that have approved economic sanctions under the UN Security Council.

The report urged China to take a more firm stance toward Pyongyang, saying, ``China holds the key to implementing sanctions`` on North Korea.

The congressional report also noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has been providing luxury goods to government officials to solidify support for his son Kim Jong-Un to eventually take charge in another dynastic succession.

Senator Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, requested the compilation of the report.

Lugar said in a statement, ``China`s less than rigorous approach toward implementing sanctions targeting North Korea should be a wake-up call to the White House in the ongoing development of its North Korea strategy.``

PTI

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