Procurement: North Korean Arms Exports Continue



November 26, 2009: A UN investigation has concluded that North Korea is continuing to export weapons, and using the hard currency obtained to import luxury items for the ruling elite of the communist police state. The UN report detailed North Korean use of false documents and the switching of cargo containers to different ships to throw off investigators.

The North Koreans have also had to come up with a large array of subterfuges to get around growing restrictions on their use of the international banking system. The North Koreans are still getting the weapons out, and the money back. But they are increasingly getting caught. It's an international game of hide and seek that is hurting the North Korean arms trade, but not stopping it. The report points towards implementing more restrictions on North Korean trade. To be really effective, this requires lots of cooperation from China, where many of the North Korean evasion takes place. For example, North Korean ships go to Chinese ports, where arms cargos (usually in standard shipping containers) are secretly switched to other ships.


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