Synchronized Sanctions

Today, the Department of State sanctioned North Korea’s “Namchongang Trading Corporation”: — an importer of aluminum tubes, it seems — while the Department of Treasury sanctioned a North Korean front company, “Hong Kong Electronics”: Reading not very deeply between the lines of the Treasury press release, HKE funnels cash for Iranian missile purchases back to North Korea:

bq. Since 2007, Hong Kong Electronics has transferred millions of dollars of proliferation-related funds on behalf of Tanchon and KOMID. Hong Kong Electronics has also facilitated the movement of money from Iran to North Korea on behalf of KOMID. Tanchon, a commercial bank based in Pyongyang, North Korea, is the financial arm for KOMID – North Korea’s premier arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.

What’s interesting about HKE is where it’s located: Kish Island, Iran. What, “Dubai wasn’t available”:

Kish Island also happens to be where American private investigator “Bob Levinson”: was disappeared in 2007.

One thought on “Synchronized Sanctions

  1. Allen Thomson

    Namchongang Trading has also been reported to have played a role in the alleged Syrian reactor project:

    Purchases Linked N. Korean to Syria
    Pyongyang Company Funneled Reactor Parts to Damascus, Intelligence Officials Say
    By Robin Wright and Joby Warrick
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, May 11, 2008; A18

    When North Korean businessman Ho Jin Yun first caught the attention of German customs police in 2002, he was on a continental buying spree with a shopping list that seemed as random as it was long.


    According to U.S. officials, European intelligence officials and diplomats, Yun’s firm — Namchongang Trading, known as NCG — provided the critical link between Pyongyang and Damascus, acquiring key materials from vendors in China and probably from Europe, and secretly transferring them to a desert construction site near the Syrian town of Al Kibar.

    It was the company’s suspicious buying habits — and the branch office it opened in Damascus — that inadvertently contributed to the alleged reactor’s discovery and later destruction in a Sept. 6 Israeli bombing raid, U.S. officials say.


    Alerted to NCG’s suspect purchases in Europe, Western spy agencies were able to track the movement of NCG employees and purchases to Syria in 2003, where the outlines of the reactor scheme eventually became apparent.


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