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N. Korea Fakes Trade Documents to Export WMDs

Posted September. 01, 2010 11:36,   


North Korea is known to be changing the names of companies on the U.S. sanctions list and falsifying export invoices to skirt the sanctions and continue selling weapons of mass destruction abroad.

South Korean and U.S. intelligence data released Tuesday said that after the U.N. Security Council put Korean Mining and Development Corp. on the sanctions list in the wake of the North’s launch of long-range missiles in April last year, the North changed the company’s name to Kapmun Tosong Trade.

When the North Korean weapons exporter Tangun Trade was put on the list after Pyongyang’s second nuclear test in May last year, the company’s name was changed to Chasongdang Trade.

Chongsong Yonhap, a company included on the list of additional U.S. sanctions, has been tracked by South Korean and U.S. intelligence since the second half of last year, when Chongsong appeared and the mining company and Tangun changed their names.

The Stalinist country has had difficulty exporting arms due to stronger international sanctions, so it apparently uses China for exports. Pyongyang records military supplies as civil products, torpedoes as processing equipment for fish, and rocket shells as oil boring machines on export invoices.

A South Korean official said, “South Korean and U.S. intelligence are trying to detect name changes and invoice fabrications, but we’re struggling because North Korea keeps developing new ways to avoid sanctions.”