Sunday, January 23, 2005

North Korean narcotics : 2003's Pong Su incident

NBR North Korea: Pong Su incident Fri, 21 Jan 2005
by Professor Robyn Lim

"The Tuvalu-registered North Korean freighter Pong Su was
intercepted off the coast of eastern Australia in April
2003. After a long and dramatic chase, it was boarded at
gunpoint by the Australian Navy. It was carrying a
senior North Korean communist official as well as a
large amount of heroin.

At the trial of the crew members charged with drug
trafficking, the Australian Federal Police said that the
drugs had been loaded aboard the ship at the North
Korean port of Nampo. Some estimates of the value to
North Korea of the drug trade are in the order of US 1
billion annually.

"Small amounts" to help a poor little bankrupt nation? I
don't think so somehow. And of course it would be naive
not to think that the Dear Leader is at the centre of
it. Much of the drug trade is run out of Macao. Hard to
imagine that the PLA does not know about it or take its
cut. Indeed, criminality in the PLA is a growing problem
in China because corruption is the cancer that is eating
China. Linking up with the triads in Southeast Asia of
course. That is hardly a new connection either for the
communist regime in China.

The former head of Hong Kong police intelligence, Steve
Vickers, told the media that Macau is a base North Korea
uses to raise foreign currency through organised crime.
"In reality, it's a criminal regime. Drugs, kidnappings,
counterfeit documents, bank notes, you name it, they're
doing it"."

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