Syria 'given chemical weapons supplies' by North Korea

Man with a child are seen in hospital in the besieged town of Douma Eastern Ghouta Damascus Syria

Britain should consider joining military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime if there is "incontrovertible" evidence he has used chemical weapons against his own people, Boris Johnson has said.

North Korea and Syria have a history of cooperation going back decades.

The U.S. recently said it saw evidence that Syria used chlorine gas, banned for use as a chemical weapon, in recent weeks.

It describes how North Korea uses a complex web of shell companies and sympathetic foreign citizens to gain access to global financing, employs sophisticated cyber operations to steal military secrets and enlists its own diplomats in smuggling operations. If the report is accurate, she said, "it would represent an ominous marker of how far the crimes and violations committed by the Syrian government have eroded respect for long-established prohibitions".

The revelations underscore widely held concerns about North Korea's willingness to market its most advanced weapons technology to foreign clients - including, in this instance, to a Syrian regime notorious for using chemical weapons to kill its citizens.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday night that according to United Nations investigators, "North Korean missile technicians have also been spotted working at known chemical weapons and missile facilities inside Syria".




In both countries, the scions of repressive dynasties - North Korea's Kim Jong UN and Syria's President Bashar Assad - have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to impose enormous suffering on their own people, who diminishes the power of worldwide sanctions to rein them in, observers noted. He listed his rank as a major general in a letter with an official proposal to Syrian Major General Ali Salim of the Army Supply Bureau for "an air defense command and control system", it said. One of the recipients of the illegal shipments is said to be China, an accusation Beijing, again, denies.

The Russian-backed truce, which went into effect on early Tuesday, was meant to facilitate the delivery of aid and the evacuation of civilians, who have been trapped in the besieged suburbs since Damascus and Russia stepped up attacks on the region earlier this month.

In April 2017, a suspected sarin gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern province of Idlib, killing at least 80 people. Lavrov claims the rebel militants, not the Syrian government, are to blame.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria on Saturday, but the agreement has yet to take hold on the ground.

Some details of the report have been released as fighting in the Ghouta area of Damascus has intensified and the number of civilian dead grows.

United Nations officials refused to comment on the contents of the paper and did not offer any indication of when it would be released.

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