SEOUL – North Korea’s coal and arms exports have significantly dropped since March, when the UN Security Council imposed severe trade restrictions on the hermetic country, according to South Korean intelligence on Friday.
Coal and arms exports registered a year-on-year drop of 40 percent and 88 percent, respectively, according to a National Intelligence Service, or NIS, report presented in the South Korean parliament.
Seoul’s intelligence services believe that the sanctions are proving to be effective in restricting the Kim Jong-un regime’s foreign trade, as a tactic to pressurize it to abandon its nuclear and long-range missile programs.
The UN sanctions in March, which are the most strict until date, was in response to the fourth atomic test and a launch of a space rocket using missile technology carried out by North Korea in January and February, respectively.
Despite the sanctions, Pyongyang has continued to reaffirm its determination to carry on its nuclear weapons and missile programs, and last week, it launched a fresh medium range ballistic missile with apparent success.
In its report Friday, the NIS predicted that North Korea will continue to carry out missile launches and use its success in this field as propaganda in favor of the regime and its leader.