The international watchdog group Cluster Munition Coalition told the United Nations in a report Thursday that North Korea is continuing to make and stockpile cluster munitions, Yonhap news agency reported, citing Radio Free Asia.
As noted by Human Rights Watch, a founding member of the nongovernmental Cluster Munition Coalition, “Cluster munitions pose an immediate threat to civilians during conflict by randomly scattering submunitions or bomblets over a wide area. They continue to pose a threat post-conflict by leaving remnants, including submunitions that fail to explode upon impact becoming de facto landmines.”
“A single cluster bomb can contain dozens, even hundreds, of baseball-size bomblets that spray in all directions, ripping apart anything in their path. All too often, they fail to detonate right away and thus become time bombs that imperil unwary civilians who pick them up, including curious children,” The New York Times explained.
In 2016, cluster munitions caused 971 known casualties.
According to CMC’s report, North Korea obtained many of the cluster munitions after the breakup of the Soviet Union, but has continued to manufacture and stockpile them to this day.
While the organization’s report didn’t state if North Korea has used any of the weapons, it was clear that no evidence has been found to indicate that the rogue nation intends to comply with international norms and dispose of them.
As noted by Breitbart News, this report on North Korea’s stockpiling of cluster bombs follows another from the International Atomic Energy Agency which insists Kim Jong Un has taken no actionable steps toward denuclearization like he promised to do at the Singapore summit with President Donald Trump in June.
“The continuation and further development of the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) nuclear programme and related statements by the DPRK are a cause for grave concern,” the report states.
Last week, Trump canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled visit to Pyongyang, citing a lack of progress from North Korea on denuclearization.
“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he wrote.
The president did, however, leave open the possibility of a visit to the country in the near future.
“Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place),” he began.
“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved. In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”
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