Wednesday, May 18, 2011

China blocks release of UN report on North Korea-Iran: Likely because it's the middle man?

China has blocked the release of a UN report accusing North Korea of sharing ballistic missile technology with Iran in violation of sanctions.

China's UN ambassador said that Beijing was "still studying that report".

The report, which was leaked at the weekend, said the material passed through a third country, which was later identified by diplomats as China.

China has dismissed suggestions it was a transit point for the illegal shipments.

"I completely deny such reports," Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue told a news conference on Wednesday.

His comment echoed the sentiment expressed by the foreign ministry a day earlier that Beijing was "earnest and responsible in implementing Security Council resolutions".

The UN report, obtained by Reuters at the weekend, was written by a panel of seven experts appointed by the UN secretary general to monitor Pyongyang's compliance with sanctions.

It was sent to the 15 Security Council members for their approval. Diplomats said China was the only country to object to its release. (read more)

Very interesting: The report warns of a potential "environmental disaster" at Yongbyon, according to the BBC -- Fukushima the sequel?