‘UN probes claim China broke N Korea sanctions’

Allegations are that China supplied technology for a North Korean missile launcher in a possible breach of UN sanctions.

Seoul: United Nations officials are investigating allegations that China supplied technology for a North Korean missile launcher in a possible breach of UN sanctions, a leading defence journal said on Thursday.

IHS Jane`s Defence Weekly quoted a senior official close to a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee as saying that an associated panel of experts was "aware of the situation and will pursue enquiries".

The committee is tasked with monitoring breaches of sanctions against the North`s missile and nuclear programmes. It is advised by the expert panel.

The 16-wheel launcher, carrying an apparently new medium-range missile, was on show Sunday at a big military parade in Pyongyang to mark the centenary of the birth of the North`s founder Kim Il-Sung.

IHS Janes`s reported earlier that China appeared to have supplied either the design or the actual vehicle to the North.

It said the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) is apparently based on a design from the 9th Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.

Depending on when the vehicle -- or its design -- was passed to the North, China could be in breach of UN sanctions imposed after the North`s long-range missile tests in 2006 and 2009.

The unidentified official quoted by IHS Jane`s hinted that political pressure not to implicate China in sanctions infringements may limit room for manoeuvre.

The defence publication in a statement quoted other military analysts as saying the missile launcher was of Chinese origin.

PTI

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