North Korea has developed sophisticated countermeasures to circumvent UN sanctions, according to a United Nations report.

The counter measures include the suspected use of its embassies to facilitate the illegal trade in weapons.

North Korean embassies in Cuba and Singapore were suspected of facilitating the country's banned arms trade.

This included a shipment of fighter jets and missile parts that was seized in Panama last July.

The report by an eight-member UN panel of experts also pointed to the use of more developed financial countermeasures used to mask the purchase of both banned and permitted goods.