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Firms Caught Exporting Strategic Items

Posted May. 29, 2006 03:00,   


The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said that it took action against six businesses that were caught exporting without government permission strategic materials, such as sodium sulfide and triethanolamine, which can be used for making weapons of mass destruction. This was revealed in an investigation to check whether the 82 items out of chemicals that are considered to be strategic materials, were actually receiving export authorization.

For illegally exporting sodium sulfide several times, the Commerce Ministry has banned three companies from trading strategic items for three months. It has given a warning to the other three businesses that did not turn in export transaction reports. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy explained that the reason these firms received relatively light punishment is because investigations confirmed that the final destination of the demand and use of the items were not for making chemical weapons, but purely for industrial motives.

The Commerce Ministry’s Head of Strategic Items Control Division, Baek Du-ok, said, “Trade businesses need to check the Strategic Trade Information System website (www.sec.go.kr) and make sure whether the item being traded is considered a strategic material.” Apart from being punished according to municipal law, in the case a company conducts illegal trade and is considered disqualified to trade according to the international trade order, it receives a big blow of at least three years of trade restrictions.

Sun-Woo Kim sublime@donga.com