North Korea's Record of Crime....
It is truly a rogue state.
Illegal export businesses that North Korea is accused of operating include the manufacture and sale of drugs, counterfeit currency, fake brand goods such as cigarettes, the forging of tax revenue stamps and money laundering. On top of this there is the lucrative trade in weapons, principally missile parts, which is perfectly legal but deplored by the United States and its allies.
Over the years North Korea’s partners in these enterprises have ranged from Japanese yakuza, Russian drug dealers, Irish republican terrorists, bankers in Macau, ivory poachers in Africa, and the Armed Forces of Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Vietnam and Yemen.
If the North does attempt to profit from its nuclear success it will be covert networks like these that it will employ.
North Korean official crime dates back at least to the 1970s when its diplomats based in the four Scandinavian countries were reselling tax-free alcohol and cigarettes.
Diplomatic bags were frequently abused for the purposes of smuggling drugs produced in North Korean factories, beginning with heroin and opium but diversifying in the late 1990s into crystal metamphetamine or “shabu”, the most popular drug in Japan, South Korea and South East Asia.
In 2003, Australian coastguards seized the North Korean boat Pong Su after it dropped off 150kg (330lb) of heroin at a beach in Victoria.
Even harder to pin down are the counterfeit $100 bills known to law enforcement agencies as Superdollar.
US security services have seized $50 million of the counterfeits since they began appearing 1989, of a quality so high that they are often detected only when they reach the Federal Reserve.
Sean Garland, the leader of the Official Irish Republican Army, a Marxist splinter group of the IRA, is presently fighting extradition from Ireland to face charges in the US that he purchased and distributed North Koran supernotes in Belarus, Russia and Ireland.
North Korean factories are reckoned to produce 41 billion fake cigarettes a year, for sale in China, Japan and the US.