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According to an excerpt of a classified United Nations report, North Korea continues to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of international sanctions and despite the country’s worsening economic circumstances during the first half of 2021.

A team of independent sanctions monitors submitted a report to the United Nations. Pyongyang “continued to seek material and technology for these programs overseas,” according to the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee.

The sanctions monitors found that despite the country’s concentration on its growing financial troubles, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to maintain and enhance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Last year, the isolated Asian country enforced a severe curfew in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, which has hampered commerce and humanitarian access and harmed an economy already beset by international sanctions.

In June, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stated that the country’s food situation was “tight,” and that much will rely on this year’s harvests.

North Korea has been subjected to United Nations sanctions. Since 2006, sanctions have been imposed on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In order to cut off financing for the projects, the Security Council has increasingly tightened sanctions.

The monitors said they were continuing to look into North Korea’s involvement in global cyber activity, as well as collaboration between North Korean academics and universities and scientific institutes around the world, with a focus on “studies with potential applications in WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programs.”

The United Nations reported that North Korea is accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars through cyberattacks, according to sanctions monitors.

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