Islamabad : The Pakistani officials have claimed that a United Nations panel grossly exaggerated the number of visits by two North Korean diplomats to Pakistan, which internationally raised concerns about the motive of their frequent trips.
A UN panel of experts monitoring the enforcement of sanctions on North Korea had in a recent report claimed that Iran-based North Korean officials identified as Jang Yong Son and Kim Yong Chol had transited Karachi and Islamabad on at least 28 occasions between December 10, 2012, and October 25, 2015.
The two were at that time suspected to be linked with the listed Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), which is reportedly involved in trade of equipment related to ballistic missiles, though the UN is now convinced about the link, reports Dawn.
In background interviews, multiple sources confirmed that Pakistan had been asked by the UN about these trips.
The internal investigations revealed that the North Korean officials had only visited Pakistan six times and the same was communicated to the UN.
The Pakistani contention has been that a round trip by the Korean officials was counted by the UN panel as two trips and since they were travelling together, the figure was doubled and single visit was counted as four trips.
“That’s how they arrived at this figure of 28,” explained a source having knowledge of the issue.
Two diplomats, who visited Pakistan, were suspected. Pakistan had further told the UN that the two were issued visas as part of normal diplomatic practice of granting visas to diplomats as both carried diplomatic passports and had been accredited by Iran.
The Pakistani position had been that the Korean officials did not mention their affiliation with KOMID in their applications.
The purpose of the trip stated by them in their visa application was visit to their embassy in Islamabad and the embassy’s economic section in Karachi.
The North Korean officials had also been travelling to the UAE, China, Singapore and Malaysia. (ANI)