A series of UN Security Council sanctions appear to have failed to stop North Korea's weapons exports, a US media outlet said Thursday.
In an email interview with Voice of America, Peter Wezeman, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said the studies found that the North Korean regime continues to violate the UN sanctions and export small-size weapons and traditional weapons technologies to six or seven countries.
Iran and Syria have been mentioned as regular importers of North Korean weapons and related technologies in the past years, the researcher said.
The SIPRI said in a recent report that Palestinian group Hamas and the Britain-based Palestinian Return Centre, an organization that supports the return of the Palestinian diaspora to their national homeland, likely purchased anti-tank missiles from the North.
The missiles may have been transported to the importing nations through Sudan or Egypt, it said.
Other media outlets such as Japan's Kyodo News and DEBKAfile, an Israeli military intelligence website, have recently made similar reports.
Last year, Pyongyang conducted two nuclear tests and launched 24 ballistic missiles and long-range rockets. The provocations resulted in two UN Security Council resolutions entailing tougher-than-ever sanctions that have deepened the regime's international isolation and economic hardships. (Yonhap)