» 05/18/2011, 00.00
CHINA – NORTH KOREA – IRAN
Beijing rejects charges of weapons shipments to Pyongyang and Tehran
UN Security Council report says China violated 2006 ban on the two nations by acting as a “transit point” between them. The Chinese government denies the charges, blocks the report’s publication.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China has denied allegations of involvement in weapons shipment between Iran and North Korea, which are under United Nations sanctions and not allowed to obtain foreign military equipment.
Beijing “is earnest and responsible in implementing Security Council resolutions”, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Minister said in a statement, following news reports that accused China of being a “transit point” between Iran and North Korea.
The accusations do not “represent the Security Council's position. Nor does it represent the position of the relevant sanctions committee of the Security County," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a faxed statement.
The report was written by a UN panel of experts monitoring Pyongyang's compliance with the sanctions.
However, the Chinese government moved to prevent the 15-nation UN Security Council from publishing the report by taking a step known as breaking the silence procedure.
A note from the Security Council confirms the procedure was broken, but did not say by whom. A Portuguese official at the UN said the allegations in the report were serious but not proven.
According to Reuters, which received a copy of the report, Beijing defied bans against Pyongyang imposed by the UN on imports and exports of nuclear-related items, conventional arms and luxury goods, usually unavailable in North Korea.
Items were transported on board regular scheduled flights operated by the carriers Air Koryo and Iran Air.
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