North Korea has ‘laundered’ its coal through Russian ports, contravening UN sanctions. The DPRK is suspected of having shipped coal to a port in Russia, and departed with, at least in part, Russian coal, in what is described as a sanctions-busting scheme. The scheme appears to also have been facilitated by the use of front companies, as well as Chinese-owned ships flagged in Panama and Togo. The report further suggest that some North Korean coal was sold to South Korea.
Analysis: In this scheme, moving a sanctioned commodity and comingling it the same commodity from another country not under sanction appears to have effectively circumvented international sanctions. The only question that remains is what companies and individuals were involved, and can the money trail be followed?