North Korea enhanced nuke program despite Trump overtures: report

North Korea spent the last year defying United Nations sanctions and continued its effort to enhance its nuclear and ballistic programs, a report Monday said.

Reuters, citing a confidential U.N. paper, reported exclusively that Pyongyang disregarded Security Council resolutions and used “illicit external procurement” for some new technology. The report pointed out that North Korea has insisted that it no longer needs to abide by the resolution and blamed the U.S. for “brutal and inhumane” sanctions.


President Trump has made overtures to dictator Kim Jong Un in hopes of scoring a historic foreign policy win that would lead to complete denuclearization. Their relationship has seen several setbacks after some glimpses of promise.

Last month, Trump wished Kim a happy birthday through South Korean intermediaries. The North Korean Foreign Ministry responded that any "good personal feelings" Kim has for Trump is truly "personal."

Trump once took a hard line toward the country and dubbed Kim “rocket man.”

That stance brought North Korea to the negotiating table and led to a series of high-profile summits between the two leaders in 2018 and 2019. But relations cooled last year after a February summit in Vietnam when the U.S. rejected allowing sanctions relief in exchange for the dismantling of an aging nuclear site.


The Reuters report also accused Chinese barges of helping Pyongyang with importing petroleum and exporting $370 million in coal. China denied the 67-page U.N. report, calling it “baseless.”

Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report