‘Trade via Malaysia im­pos­si­ble’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia would not know­ingly al­low North Korea to run il­le­gal arms op­er­a­tions out of the coun­try, in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions ex­perts said yes­ter­day.

Univer­siti Utara Malaysia Col­lege of Law, Gov­ern­ment and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Pro­fes­sor Dr Mohd Az­izud­din Mohd Sani said it was “im­pos­si­ble” for North Korea to run a net­work of arms op­er­a­tions out of Malaysia as the au­thor­i­ties would not al­low it.

“If they do run a net­work, surely Malaysian au­thor­i­ties would stop it. I be­lieve Malaysia will pro­vide all nec­es­sary co­op­er­a­tion if the United Na­tions (UN) wants to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter,” he told the New Sun­day Times.

He said the me­dia should not in­sin­u­ate such al­le­ga­tions, adding that such se­ri­ous claims should be backed up with proof.

Reuters had re­ported that the North Korean in­tel­li­gence agency ran an arms op­er­a­tion out of Malaysia via a com­pany called Glo­com, iden­ti­fy­ing two com­pa­nies linked to the trade as In­ter­na­tional Global Sys­tem and In­ter­na­tional Golden Ser­vices.

The ar­ti­cle quoted a draft UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC) re­port that stated that North Korea was evad­ing in­ter­nal sanc­tions by hav­ing a net­work of over­seas com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing in Malaysia.

In­ter­na­tional law ex­pert Dr Su­fian Ju­soh said it was no easy job for a coun­try to set up arms op­er­a­tions in Malaysia, given the tight se­cu­rity in the coun­try.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to over­come our au­thor­i­ties, which in­clude the police, Cus­toms and Bank Ne­gara. They need doc­u­men­ta­tion to be able to pass through our sys­tem, which is strin­gent.

“We can­not jump to con­clu­sions (that we are work­ing in co­horts with North Korea). Hav­ing ties with them is our choice as a sov­er­eign na­tion... many other coun­tries have diplo­matic ties with North Korea.”

In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions ex­pert Oh Ei Sun said Malaysia had al­ways tried to be open in in­ter­na­tional busi­ness deal­ings.

“But some­times, we sim­ply do not pos­sess the where­withal of some ad­vanced coun­tries that can af­ford to and have the tech­nol­ogy and in­for­ma­tion to vet through ev­ery sin­gle busi­ness en­tity and trans­ac­tion to de­tect pos­si­ble vi­o­la­tions of such sanc­tions.

“We try our best to com­ply and en­force when we are passed such in­for­ma­tion, but to ex­pect us to sin­gle-hand­edly, proac­tively do the vet­ting is a tall order,” said the prin­ci­pal ad­viser at the Pa­cific Re­search Cen­tre.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, the For­eign Min­istry is­sued a state­ment say­ing Malaysia re­jected claims it may have vi­o­lated sanc­tions im­posed by the UN on North Korea.

“Malaysia cat­e­gor­i­cally re­jects any such in­sin­u­a­tion. The coun­try views this with se­ri­ous con­cern. Malaysia highly val­ues the im­por­tant work be­ing car­ried out by the UNSC Sanc­tions Com­mit­tee on North Korea, es­tab­lished pur­suant to Res­o­lu­tion 1718 (2006) and the UNSC Panel of Ex­perts, es­tab­lished pur­suant to Res­o­lu­tion 1874 (2009), by en­sur­ing the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of all the rel­e­vant res­o­lu­tions.

“Malaysia has pro­vided the re­quired re­sponses to the queries raised by the Panel of Ex­perts, and will fully co­op­er­ate with these bod­ies as it has done in the past.”

Fol­low­ing the Reuters re­port, In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had said police were aware of the is­sue, adding that In­ter­na­tional Global Sys­tems and In­ter­na­tional Golden Ser­vices were in the process of be­ing “struck off” the list of com­pa­nies reg­is­tered un­der the Com­pa­nies Com­mis­sion of Malaysia.

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