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Firms With N. Korean Ties Blacklisted?

Posted October. 21, 2006 07:17,   


“The Japanese government imposed financial sanctions on 16 North Korean businesses and individuals related to developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is only the beginning. In the future when the Japanese government announces the list of South Korean companies related to these North Korean companies, their companies may be restricted from making transactions (with Japan).”

On October 19, Dr. Yun Min-ho (51), a special researcher of Japan Center for International Finance, a major Japanese government think tank, said with concern during an interview with Dong-A Ilbo, “If the South Korean government continues its current North Korean policies, it is likely that the U.S. and Japan, and even China will avoid South Korea.”

He said, “The South Korean government is not disclosing much clearly, but various economic situations prove that North Korea has developed nuclear weapons with the funds that the South has been shoveling into the North.”

Recently Dr. Yun gave a six-page report on “Current Situation on North Korean Companies under Sanctions” to the Japan Center for International Finance then visited South Korea for a short time.

The Japan Center for International Finance is a highly influential organization that impacts international financial work of Japan’s major financial institutions, businesses, and related businesses. The organization is famous for having rated the world’s top 3 credit ratings companies, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and FitchIBCA in 1998, as opposition to their high-handedness.

Dr. Yun had been a World Bank researcher and the general manager of Tokyo branch of Dongseo Securities, and then moved to the Japan Center for International Finance in 1998 as a special researcher on the Korean peninsula and its neighboring countries. He is known as an expert on Japanese economic environment.

― You sent in a report on 16 North Korean businesses and individuals that Japan imposed sanctions on.

“The Japanese government imposed measures to prevent the movement of assets, including deposit, withdrawal, and overseas remittance, in and to Japan, on the accounts of 15 organizations and 1 individual l related to the WMD development based on the UN Security Council resolution. But their identities were ambiguous, so financial institutions have had difficulties in effectively sanctioning them. But on the occasion of the North Korean nuclear tests, we investigated the truth behind these companies. For example, these are known as shipping companies but they are actually involved in moving weapons.”

― Do you think South Korean companies are involved as well?

“They are quite involved. There is information that some religious groups and even universities have been involved with them under the premise of academic exchange. The US and Japan has turned the sanctions that were formalities to real effective sanctions. South Korea’s participation will be a decisive factor in South Korea US and Japan alliance. China is starting to leaning toward sanctions against North Korea. If South Korea is left out by US, Japan and China, it will not have a country to request for help. I saw in downtown Seoul, a demonstration opposing the participation of Korean in the WMD Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). It amazes me that people are ignoring this current situation of “having a bomb made by my money drop on my head.”

― Does that mean North Korea developed nuclear weapons with the funds given to them by the South Korean government?

“There is no clear evidence, but various economic situations prove that fact. North Korea’s GDP turned into a plus since 1998. It may be a coincidence but this is when South Korea started shoveling money to the North. The South Korean government has not been disclosing this information. It is said that, because of shoveling, North Korean economy was easily recovered after the natural disasters and floods in the early 1990s.”

― What is it like in Japan?

“There is too large of a difference in opinion between Korea and Japan. A neighbor has a nuclear weapon, and the perspectives on safety are so different. Because of its past nuclear bombing experience, the Japanese feels very strongly on the issue of nuclear weapons that the weapons should not be owned or used by anyone. So naturally they are dissatisfied with the South Korean government’s attitude on sanctions against North Korea. But the reality is even if they express their dissatisfaction, they do not expect that that the issue will be resolved. ”

― There is talk of Japan developing nuclear weapons.

“Some say that Japan’s fear of nuclear weapons will move ahead to arm itself with nuclear weapons but this is too early to say. Transforming the Japanese Self-Defense Forces into an army is virtually impossible because of Japan’s demographic issues (low birth rate etc). But if Japan wishes to substantially strengthen the Self-Defense Forces under the current system, the US will actively support this, because it will help weapon sales.”

― What do you think the South Korean government should do?

“First and foremost, establishing relations with neighboring countries for its survival is important. South Korea must quickly learn what is happening in neighboring countries. If they don’t, they will be mending the barn after the horse is stolen, so to speak. And it will be too late.”