North Korean ac­tiv­i­ties

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

Cartwright said.

The new “global strike” forces have been in de­vel­op­ment for at least five years, and weapons and tech­nolo­gies are “start­ing to emerge,” the vice chair­man said.

“His­tor­i­cally we have thought in terms of con­ven­tional bombers,” Gen. Cartwright said.

“The re­al­ity to­day is con­ven­tional bombers for global strike prob­a­bly [are] not cred­i­ble. They’re too slow. They’re too in- global strike is that it is “not enough to sus­tain a fight,” which is why for­eign-based and de­ployed forces are still needed, Gen. Cartwright said. New de­tails of North Korean traf­fick­ing in coun­ter­feit U.S. cur­rency were out­lined in a for­eign gov­ern­ment re­port on the il­licit ac­tiv­i­ties that iden­ti­fied a top North Korean gen­eral as the cen­tral fig­ure in the coun­ter­feit­ing as well as drug traf­fick­ing.

The for­eign gov­ern­ment re­port, which was con­firmed by U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials, stated that Gen. O Kuk-ryol runs a North Korean gov­ern­ment-spon­sored pro­gram to pro­duce and dis­trib­ute high-qual­ity coun­ter­feit $100 bills and to en­gage in il­licit nar­cotics traf­fick­ing with Asian organized crime gangs.

A North Korean diplo­mat at the coun­try’s U.N. mis­sion in New York has de­nied charges that North Korea’s gov­ern­ment is in­volved in coun­ter­feit­ing and other il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

The re­port iden­ti­fied Gen. O’s son, O Se-won as “deeply in­volved with the im­por­ta­tion of more than 75 kilo­grams of heroin found aboard a North Korean ship Pung Su seized by Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties in April 2003. A Korean Work­ers Party of­fi­cial was among the 30 crew mem­bers charged with drug smug­gling.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, prof­its from the sale of fake U.S. cur­rency and nar­cotics have been used by the com­mu­nist Worker’s Party of Korea Of­fice of the Clerk to buy lux­ury yachts for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his fam­ily and “tens of mil­lions of dol­lars” worth of MercedesBenz cars and he­li­copters for the rul­ing Kim fam­ily.

The re­port also pro­vided an ex­am­ple of how North Korea trans­fers su­per­notes through Africa. It iden­ti­fied Lee Il-nam, a diplo­mat posted to the North Korean Em­bassy in Ethiopia, as a courier for tens of thou­sands of su­per­notes that were sent from Py­ongyang to Bei­jing and to Ethiopia be­tween May 2003 and Septem­ber 2004.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the diplo­mat worked with an­other North Korean diplo­mat in Addis Ababa, Joo Ry­ong-woon. Both were de­tained in Jan­uary 2004 by au­thor­i­ties in the Per­sian Gulf state of Dubai on sus­pi­cion of cir­cu­lat­ing coun­ter­feit su­per­notes, the re­port said.

The re­port also stated that North Korean arms traf­fick­ing in­cludes covert sales of mis­siles, tanks, tor­pedo boats and sub­marines to Iran and Ethiopia.

Py­ongyang sought to hide the arms sales by us­ing ac­counts in other coun­tries, the re­port said. The North Kore­ans also sought to hide the arms sales from in­ter­na­tional mon­i­tors by dis­guis­ing the trans­ac­tions through front com­pa­nies. One bank men­tioned in the re­port as a con­duit for the arms sales was a Chi­nese state bank, the re­port said.

Bill Gertz cov­ers na­tional se­cu­rity af­fairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at in­sid­e­ther ing@wash­ing­ton­


A fe­male North Korean sol­dier looks out from be­hind a barbed wire fence around a camp on the North Korean river banks across from Hekou, north­east­ern China’s Liaon­ing prov­ince, on June 3.

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