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NK keeps importing banned luxury items via China: Kyodo

Posted May. 18, 2012 06:15,   


North Korea continues to import luxury items banned by the United Nations through intermediaries in China, Kyodo News of Japan said Thursday.

A diplomatic source who spoke on the condition of anonymity and cited a U.N. annual report for sanctions on North Korea said, “A large part of luxury items that have import bans in North Korea are made in Japan, and DGUSA, a trade company based in Dalian, China, serves as a middleman.”

To discourage North Korea from conducting a nuclear test, the U.N. did not specify the items but says they are not for residents and thus unnecessary for public health and welfare. The U.N. bans the export of such items to North Korea.

The banned items include 10,000 cigarettes, 12 bottles of refined rice wine, 200,000 yen worth of cosmetics, hundreds of laptop computers, second-hand pianos and two Australian yachts. Three Mercedes Benzes were sent to Pyongyang via a Chinese trader.

Kyodo News said, “North Korean companies in charge of trading these products are Nungrado Trade, Sinpung Trade, and Sangmyong 2. Small Japanese companies and North Korean expats in Japan who trade with Pyongyang are involved in money-laundering.”

The leading Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun said Thursday that Hiroaki Seigen, an ethnic Korean whose Korean name is Seong Gwang-jeong and the owner of Kejei, a Nagoya-based trade company, supplied materials for the construction of a swimming pool for North Korean party leaders. Holding North Korean citizenship, Seigen was arrested on the charge of illegally exporting construction materials to the North.

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