C4ADS has produced a report of its preliminary findings of sand dredging in North Korea. It says that sand is a critical material with various uses in modern infrastructure, such as concrete and glass in construction, and silicon chips in electronics; and as the price of sand has risen rapidly in recent years, so has the practice of both licit and illicit sand excavation and trade around the world. DPRK started trading sand in the 90s and between 1991 and 2017, the DPRK’s neighbours, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Russia, have periodically imported sand from North Korea. However, in December 2017, UN SCR 2397 imposed a sectoral ban on “earth and stone (HS Code 25)”, which includes sand. However, C4ADS says, publicly available information suggests that the sale of DPRK-origin sand is ongoing.
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