A North Korean missile Taepodong class is displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012. (Photo/AP-Yonhap)
DHARAMSHALA, April 20: China has come under the United Nations scanner for what is seen as a violation of UN Security Council sanctions against supplying big military equipment to North Korea.
Pictures of North Korean missiles on display at a huge military parade over the weekend showed them carried on Chinese-made or -designed transporters, according to missile technology analysts.
Under United Nations Security Council resolutions from 2006 and 2009, states, including China, are banned from helping North Korea with its ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities as well as supplying heavy weapons.
Military analysts of IHS Jane's Defence Weekly tipped-off the United Nation's panel of experts about a possible transfer of either the technology or the missile itself from China to North Korea.
The Defence Weekly quoted a senior official close to a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee as saying that an associated panel of experts was "aware of the situation and will pursue enquiries".
According to an AFP report, the UN investigative panel is probing allegations that China provided long-range ballistic missile technology to North Korea.
IHS Janes's reported earlier that China appeared to have supplied either the design or the actual vehicle to the North. It said the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) is apparently based on a design from the 9th Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.
"There is no doubt it came from China, (but) whether it was produced as a licensed or unlicensed vehicle is an open question," Nick Hansen of Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation was quoted as saying.
In other developments, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that China has provided some assistance to North Korea's missile program.
“I don’t know the exact extent of that,” the defense chief told the House Armed Services Committee in Washington on Thursday. “But clearly there’s been assistance along those lines.”
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington denied any breach of sanctions and told reporters that China “strictly abides by and implements all U.N. Security Council resolutions, including the sanctions on North Korea.”
However, if the allegations against China are proved then the transfer of technology would be a serious breach of UN sanctions against North Korea, exposing earlier doubts over the highly secretive proximity between Beijing and Pyongyang.