On 6 September, the UN Panel of Experts report dated 30 August was released. Amongst other things, it says that the investigations carried out by the Panel of Experts show continued violations of the resolutions. For example, the DPRK continued to violate sanctions through ongoing illicit ship-to-ship transfers and the procurement of WMD-related items and luxury goods. These and other sanctions violations are facilitated through the country’s access to the global financial system, through bank representatives and networks operating worldwide. It has also used cyberspace to launch increasingly sophisticated attacks to steal funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges to generate income. Furthermore, ongoing deficiencies in the implementation by Member States of financial sanctions, combined with the deceptive practices of the DPRK, enabled the country to continue to access the international financial system – with more than 30 overseas representatives controlling bank accounts and facilitating transactions, including for illicit transfers of coal and petroleum. The country’s bank representatives and designated entities make use of complicit foreign nationals to obfuscate their activities. It also says that large-scale attacks against cryptocurrency exchanges allow the DPRK to generate income in ways that are harder to trace and subject to less government oversight and regulation than the traditional banking sector. The Panel recommends a series of designations and practical measures in order to provide the UN Security Council, the 1718 Committee and Member States additional tools by which to address the current challenges and shortcomings in the implementation of the resolutions.
At the same time, on 5 September, website 38 North published an interview with Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, former Finance and Economics Expert on UN Panel of Experts Established Pursuant to UN SCR 1874, about the key findings of the report.