Go to contents

U.S. Links IRA Leader to Forged Notes

Posted December. 26, 2005 03:12,   


On the SBS TV program yesterday, “Han Soo-jin’s Sunday Click,” U.S. ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow claimed that he has evidence that a North Korean official had contacted an Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorist indicted for the circulation of counterfeit notes, and this evidence could reveal the connection between the counterfeit currency and the North.

It appears that the person Ambassador Vershbow referred to as a “terrorist” is Sean Garland, the Irish Worker’s Party President, who was prosecuted for circulating forged notes worth millions of dollars in September. President Garland is the leader of the IRA.

Vershbow added, “Some North Korean officials were even caught trying to deposit the fake notes.”

When asked whether he was certain of the fact that the North Korean government produced counterfeit notes, Vershbow answered, “Yes, I am. There is dependable evidence showing the involvement of the North in counterfeiting notes.”

Regarding Vershbow’s statement, a South Korean government official said, “It seems that Ambassador Vershbow’s comments were backed up with pictures and wiretapping evidence a U.S. information agency collected in the process of investigating an IRA member.” However, the government maintains that pictures and tapes are not decisive evidence of North Korea’s forgery of notes.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com