An Australian citizen was charged on Sunday on account of acting as an economic agent for Pyongyang (North Korea) in Australia. He was allegedly in contact with the sales broker in order to buy components used for ballistic missiles worth tens of millions of dollars. He is also believed to facilitate in selling North Koren Missile and Nuclear Program to other nations.
Chan Han Choi, the 59-year-old naturalized Australian, was communicating with the broker sales via an encrypted method to supply the weapons of mass destruction to Pyongyang. His actions contravened both United Nations and Australian sanctions against North Korea, according to the Australian Federal Police.
Chan Han Choi was responsible for arranging the sale of computer software which is used for guiding ballistic missiles. He is also believed to have transferred sensitive information from North Korea to other “international entities” which turned out to be a major revenue model for Pyongyang. The police, however, refused to disclose any additional details.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had been briefed by AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin on the “very very serious matter” and warned anyone thinking of assisting Pyongyang will be identified and put behind bars.
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“North Korea is a dangerous, reckless, wicked regime threatening the peace of the region,” Turnbull said. “It supports itself by breaching U.N. sanctions, not simply by selling commodities like coal and other goods, but also by selling weapons, drugs and by indulging in cybercrime.”
Turnbull elaborated: “It is vital that all nations work relentlessly to enforce those restrictions on Pyongyang because the more economic sanctions we put them under, the earlier the North Korean regime will be brought to its senses.”
Despite international sanctions, cash-strapped Pyongyang test-fired its most powerful missile last month which has potential to target the U.S. mainland quite easily.
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Choi is facing six charges related to brokering the sale of missile component and expertise from North Korea to other international entities and attempting to transfer coal from North Korea to Indonesia and Vietnam.
The Australian born North Korean agent is the first person charged under Australia’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Act and could face a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Choi was arrested Saturday and charged over two transactions that were unsuccessful. “But we estimate that if these trades were successful, we’re talking tens of millions of dollars,” “The AFP is saying this man was a loyal agent of North Korea, believing he was acting to serve some high patriotic purpose,” according to media reports