Kim Jong-un cover-up: Secret documents reveal how North Korea evaded US sanctions

Confidential bank documents show how firms linked to Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom suspiciously transferred money in bursts, sometimes only days or hours apart. Many of the companies in question had opaque ownership.

The papers reviewed by NBC News suggest the practice continued for years.

And Chinese firms helped with the covert process, the documents suggest.

The money was moved through prominent banks in New York for no clear commercial reason.

The amounts shifted were in round figures.

Graham Barrow, a British anti-money laundering expert, said the transactions outlined in the documents amounted to “red flags”.

Mr Barrow, who is based in London, said the information contained in the bank papers clearly pointed to parties’ efforts to conceal the origins of illicit money.

The documents cover a period mainly from 2008 to 2017.

READ MORE: WW3: Iran could have ‘nuclear weapon by the end of the year’

On Sunday it emerged the Trump administration is planning to slap sanctions on more than two dozen people and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional arms programs.

The plan was announced by a senior US official.

President Trump, who is gearing up for the November 3 election, is keen to be seen to be taking strong actions against America’s foes.

The move will put teeth behind UN sanctions on Tehran that Washington argues have resumed despite the opposition of allies and adversaries.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said Iran could have enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon by the end of the year.

The source said that Tehran has resumed long-range missile cooperation with nuclear-armed North Korea.

He did not provide detailed evidence regarding either assertion.

The new sanctions fit into Mr Trump’s effort to limit Iran’s regional influence.

The round of penalties comes a week after US-brokered deals for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalise ties with Israel, pacts that may coalesce a wider coalition against

Iran while appealing to pro-Israel voters ahead of the presidential election.



Kim Jong-un masterplan: North Korea's secretive global trade campaign that makes billions

Satellite images taken this month suggest that North Korea is readying to show off yet another arsenal of long-range ballistic missiles. Analysts say the potential unveiling is likely to coincide with the country’s military parade next month. The celebrations will mark the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Images of the training grounds where parade rehearsals have taken place in the past show large temporary structures in places which appear big enough to conceal from view the North’s largest and longest-range missiles.

The North has long been on a campaign of expanding its missile collection – an expensive endeavour for any nation.

Supreme leader Kim Jong-un has near total control over the state coffers, with the North’s economy described as one of the world’s “most centrally directed and least open” and faces “chronic economic problems,” according to the CIA World Factbook.

The factbook projected data from a 1999 OECD study to estimate North Korea’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011 to be $1,800 (£1,400) per capita. It puts growth at 0.8 percent.

However, UN estimates for 2011 put per capita GDP at $506 (£391) and growth at -0.1.

Things are made more difficult as most countries around the world have imposed trading sanctions on the North.

It has led the North to become reliant on trade through China, which accounts for 67.2 percent of the country’s exports and 61.6 percent of imports according to 2011 data.

Other countries and blocs like South Korea, India, and the EU make up the rest of the North’s official imports and exports.

However, North Korea is understood to secretly trade and have money-making operations elsewhere in the world, mainly exporting weapons to countries such as Iran and African nations.

The illicit trade has allowed the dictatorship to amass considerable wealth.

JUST INWorld War 3: US came ‘incredibly close’ to war with North Korea

During the 1980s, North Korea emerged as a legal arms trader to primarily Third World countries.

It exported inexpensive, technically unsophisticated, but reliable weapons, according to a US Foreign Policy document dated October 1991.

While the Iran-Iraq war waged, some 90 percent of arms exports from the North went directly and indirectly to Iran, and between 1981 and 1989, the Kim family reeled in an astonishing $4billion (£3.8bn) from arms sales.

It also has a track record in proliferating nuclear and missile technology and, in 2001, reports suggested the country made sales of around $550million (£425m).

Modern-day UN sanctions on North Korea now ban its sale of all arms, although an intricate network of indirect sales and multiple middlemen has made a way for the North to

In a 2014 UN report, Syria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia and Iran were all suspected to have bought weapons from North Korea.

It isn’t just arms the North has used to build its economic empire.

The state is believed to have businesses around the world, who use frontmen to disguise the real beneficiary.

Earlier this year, a German court ruled that a Kim-owned hostel in the heart of Berlin had to shut down.

circumvent the sanctions and use front companies and embassies to traffic weapons.

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Kim Jong-un threat: Terrifying satellite images show secret base [INSIGHT]
North Korean Children must memorise bizarre Kim Jong-un facts 
[ANALYSIS] 

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German media said City Hostel Berlin was run by a Turkish hotelier who pays more than €38,000 (£32,000) a month in rent to North Korea.

The embassy also drove income from a conference hall at the site.

The move was in line with UN sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons capability.

What is known as “Room 39” or “Office 39” has also attracted much attention in recent years – a centralised government organisation that seeks to maintain the foreign currency slush fund of Kim.

The Office is claimed to oversee the government’s illegal activities such as counterfeiting and drug production, and allegedly has 17 overseas branches, 100 trading companies and banks under its control, according to Daily NK.

The Office’s assets alone are thought to total to some $5billion (£3.8bn).

Despite all of this, North Korea is constantly on the brink of economic fallout.

The country regularly faces droughts and extreme weather, as reported earlier this month after Typhoon Maysak devastated swathes of the country.

The UN estimates that more than 10million people – around 40 percent of the population – face severe food shortages in such disasters.

After a drought last year, an assessment by the UN suggested North Koreans were living on just 300g of food per person a day.

In the 1990s, a devastating famine is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.

China regularly sends aid to the North, providing 240,074 tonnes of food aid in 2012.

That was more than 80 times the amount the European Commission handed North Korea that year.



North Korea CHAOS: Kim Jong-un orders nationwide 'inspection' after portraits damaged

The Central Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department found that paper and booklets with Kim Jong-un’s face on them were being treated as scrap paper and so announced an investigation and immediate program of ideological training to rectify the situation. The booklets with Kim Jong-un’s face on them are known as “No. 1 publications”. Now the central authorities have pledged to track down the local officials that allowed the revered books to be treated in such a way and hold them responsible for this perceived lack of respect.

A North Korean official spoke in anonymity to Radio Free Asia and said: “Under the supervision of the Central Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, the ideological inspections are being conducted on the party committees of each province, city, and county.

“The purpose of this inspection is to further strengthen the ideological education of local government officials and residents through the process of censuring and criticising the effectiveness of the local government agencies’ ideological education projects.

“The inspection is all because people are allowing books and newspapers containing No. 1 portraits, or artwork by Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un to be damaged.

“The people are further undermining the authority of the ‘great people of Mount Paekdu’ by selling the damaged publications as scrap paper.”

The official added: “The authorities ordered strict punishment of such acts because they go against the party and compromise its authority and that of its leaders.”

The nationwide order to “thoroughly manage No. 1 publications and to educate and control the people so that they don’t sell them as scrap paper” went out to officials, workers, and members of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League.

The source added: “The authorities will thoroughly check each provincial party committee on how No. 1 publications are distributed to lower-level organisations.

“The officials are nervous because the authorities mentioned punishing responsible officials for the damaged publications.”

READ MORE:North Korea could launch deadly new submarine missile NEXT MONTH

Another source from North Korea told Radio Free Asia the inspection will also include old videos of the leaders that have deteriorated in quality over time.

The source said: “The party, labour organisations and Group 109 are also collecting substandard videos.

“So far, there have been several instructions and inspections to root out the old videos, but it was concluded that nothing has improved, so the authorities are trying to find problems and take more stringent measures”.

The Kim family has been revered in a strict program of government forced worship since the founding of the totalitarian state.



North Korea HORROR: Children spend 90 minutes a day memorising bizarre Kim Jong-un facts

The news was revealed by Daily NK, a South Korean based publication with sources in the North. Previously North Korean pre-schoolers only had to spent 30 minutes a day being taught about Kim Jong-un.

The new government instruction, titled ‘greatness education’, was released on August 25.

It is designed for “cultivating loyalty and trust toward North Korea’s leadership”.

The sister of Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo Jong, is said to have given the instruction.

Ms Kim has been gaining in power and is now Kim Jong-un’s de facto deputy according to South Korean intelligence.

She has been leading the North Korean state response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to Daily NK children are taught Kim Jong-un was a highly intelligent child who aged five “rode a yacht, did target practice, and liked to read”.

Kim Jong-un took over as North Korean dictator in 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong-il.

North Korea has been governed as a communist dictatorship since being created in 1948.

READ MORE: North Korea paranoia – Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice 

The United States, Britain and France intervened on the side of South Korea whilst China backed the north.

The war ended in stalemate and technically the two Koreas remain at war to this day.

Separately Daily NK reports five North Korean Economic Ministry employees were executed on July 30 after criticising Kim Jong-un at a dinner party.

Their families were also detained and sent to the Camp 15 gulag near Yodak.

This is a notorious facility built to house suspected enemies of the regime in which torture, slave labour and abuse have been reported.

A source explained: “They are in a situation where they cannot even give any opinions.

“It is even more strict because the administration is trying to gain discipline.”

North Korea is currently battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst the country has yet to officially report any cases Kim Jong-un admitted the virus “could have entered” the country back in July.

In the same week the city of Kaesong was placed into lockdown for three weeks after a resident displayed coronavirus like symptoms though the diagnosis was never confirmed.



North Korea HORROR: Children spend 90 minutes a day memorising bizarre Kim Jong-un facts

The news was revealed by Daily NK, a South Korean based publication with sources in the North. Previously North Korean pre-schoolers only had to spent 30 minutes a day being taught about Kim Jong-un.

The new government instruction, titled ‘greatness education’, was released on August 25.

It is designed for “cultivating loyalty and trust toward North Korea’s leadership”.

The sister of Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo Jong, is said to have given the instruction.

Ms Kim has been gaining in power and is now Kim Jong-un’s de facto deputy according to South Korean intelligence.

She has been leading the North Korean state response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to Daily NK children are taught Kim Jong-un was a highly intelligent child who aged five “rode a yacht, did target practice, and liked to read”.

Kim Jong-un took over as North Korean dictator in 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong-il.

North Korea has been governed as a communist dictatorship since being created in 1948.

READ MORE: North Korea paranoia – Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice 

The United States, Britain and France intervened on the side of South Korea whilst China backed the north.

The war ended in stalemate and technically the two Koreas remain at war to this day.

Separately Daily NK reports five North Korean Economic Ministry employees were executed on July 30 after criticising Kim Jong-un at a dinner party.

Their families were also detained and sent to the Camp 15 gulag near Yodak.

This is a notorious facility built to house suspected enemies of the regime in which torture, slave labour and abuse have been reported.

A source explained: “They are in a situation where they cannot even give any opinions.

“It is even more strict because the administration is trying to gain discipline.”

North Korea is currently battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst the country has yet to officially report any cases Kim Jong-un admitted the virus “could have entered” the country back in July.

In the same week the city of Kaesong was placed into lockdown for three weeks after a resident displayed coronavirus like symptoms though the diagnosis was never confirmed.



Kim Jong-un threat: Terrifying satellite images show secret base of missile plot

Sinpo Shipyard, the main hub of the Defence industry in the hermit nation, is being closely watched by South Korea for signs of movement. Joseph Bermudez, a senior fellow for Imagery Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Security (CSIS), said he had analysed satellite imagery that showed a launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLMB) is being prepared at the shipyard. The activity at the base is unusual as most people, including those who work at the shipyard for other reasons, are not allowed near.

The experts say the pictures show a submersible test stand barge at the Sinpo South Shipyard.

An array of vessels can be within the boat basin in the images.

Dr Victor Cha, who leads the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, told NBC: “This looks like they are certainly preparing to do an SLBM test for the first time.

“Kim Jong Un has been talking about unveiling a new strategic weapon and this may be it.

“There’s been a lot of activity around this one site where the test barge is located.”

Two Romeo-class submarines are also anchored within the base, which the website says may be used for an SLBM test manoeuvre.

A source told Daily NK: “The shipyard had already gradually begun preparations for the launch of a SLBM some time ago, but they began pushing harder to finish the preparations from September.

“The site is bustling with activity to prepare for the ballistic missile launch, with central government officials and researchers arriving at the site from late August, along with the mobilisation of many military units.”

The source added North Korea is planning to complete the launch in time for the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) foundation day on October 10.

The source added: “The atmosphere around the site is unusual because officials and labourers are unable to leave the facility, for example.

READ MORE: North Korea paranoia: Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice 

But the submarine maintenance base did not get damaged due to workers going to great lengths to prevent the storms destroying the site.

This has resulted in South Korea growing concerned that this was deliberately done to ensure preparations could be carried out.

Won In-choul, the nominee for chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote to the National Assembly’s National Defence Committee.

He said North Korea was repairing damage from the typhoons to the shipyard.

He added “shortly after the repairs are complete, there is a chance it will carry out a submarine-launched ballistic missile test”.

North Korea often carries out missile launches during major events.

Last October, it carried out a successful launch of the new Pukguksong-3 SLBM.

The country also claimed that “the successful new-type SLBM test-firing comes to be of great significance as it ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces’ threat to the DPRK and further bolstering its military muscle for self-defence”.



North Korea paranoia: Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice as row over masks erupts

The return of the protective equipment was linked to the North Korean leader’s crackdown on imports from the south as relations between Pyongyang and Seoul continue to deteriorate.

Traders said they were surprised by the move as goods smuggled in from South Korea are openly sold in North Korean markets and masks are in high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Products from South Korea are illegal in North Korea and Pyongyang has also imposed a ban on Chinese products made in co-operation with foreign companies with the specific aim of denting the South Korean economy.

Kim has become increasingly paranoid about Seoul’s influence on the North Korea and blames Seoul for supporting a network of defectors he accuses of spreading cross-border propaganda.

A trader in the Chinese border city of Dandong said the masks spent a month in a North Korean warehouse before being sent back.

He told Radio Free Asia: “The Chinese trader received an order from the North Korean company to send high-quality masks even if they were a little expensive.

“So the Chinese trader sent 15,000 KF94 masks, which are considered to be high-quality even in South Korea.

“Oddly, the masks were returned. The North Korean company’s reason for rejecting the order is that there is suspicion that the masks are not from China.”

READ MORE:North Korea could launch deadly new submarine missile NEXT MONTH

The trade in smuggled goods has become increasingly common in North Korea but sellers still try to hide the origin of South Korean products and pass them off as Chinese.

The trader said: “There were no labels or trademarks on the masks that could identify them as South Korean.

“But the North Korean authorities judged them as South Korean because of their apparent difference in quality from Chinese masks.

“The reason why the Chinese trader sent in South Korean masks instead of Chinese ones was because of the request to ‘send good quality ones, even if they are expensive’.

“Hoping to continue its trading arrangement with the North Korean company, the trader supplied high-end South Korean masks at a price so low, it was making profit of 12p per mask. This caused a big stir.”

North Korea has still not reported a single confirmed case of the coronavirus although analysts believe this to be unlikely given its proximity to China and the way the virus sprease so rapidly around the world.

The country is also facing its worst economic crisis in almost a decade due to the pandemic, trade sanctions and a series of devastating typhoons and floods.



Kim Jong-un ‘prepared’ to go to WAR with the US in 2018 – ‘closer than anyone would know’

US Journalist Bob Woodward claims he spoke to US President Donald Trump following the latter’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in 2018. The meeting was the first time ever a US president had stepped into North Korea – a state notorious for its secrecy.

The president later told Mr Woodward tensions between the two countries had become high enough that the North was “totally prepared” to go to war with the US.

He added Kim Jong-un “expected” the conflict to happen, but said the meeting between the two leaders improved relations.

However, the North was not alone in preparation for a potential conflict.

Mr Woodward claims the US had reviewed a plan which could have involved “the use of 80 nuclear weapons” if the North did attack.

Mr Trump told the author and journalist the US had come “much closer than anyone would know” to war with North Korea.

The details have been revealed in the US journalist’s new book ‘Rage’, which provides insight into Mr Trump’s presidency.

Tensions between the two countries simmered after the North test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017 which potentially had the range to strike US territory.

In response, Mr Woodward reveals the US sent a warning missile towards the North in retaliation.

READ: Brexit WARNING: US threatens to scrap chances of UK trade deal in letter to Boris Johnson

The North launched another ICBM later that month and another one the following month.

Meetings between Mr Kim and Mr Trump followed the tensions with the aim of North Korea denuclearisation.

The two leaders met three times, with the last meeting ending unsuccessfully.

The North confirmed it had test-fired yet another type of ballistic missile in 2019 which could have carried a nuclear weapon.

It has been hoped the two leaders could start talks again, though Mr Trump faces re-election in November.

In other news, Donald Trump has recently claimed he read ‘Rage’ – the book in which Mr Woodward made the revelations above – in just one sitting.

The president was critical of the 391-page book, and described it as “very boring”.

US journalist and ‘Rage’ author Bob Woodward rose to prominence after he broke the Watergate scandal along with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein.

The scandal has been described as one of the greatest political upsets in US history and led to the resignation of US president Richard Nixon.



Kim Jong-un ‘prepared’ to go to WAR with the US in 2018 – ‘closer than anyone would know’

US Journalist Bob Woodward claims he spoke to US President Donald Trump following the latter’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in 2018. The meeting was the first time ever a US president had stepped into North Korea – a state notorious for its secrecy.

The president later told Mr Woodward tensions between the two countries had become high enough that the North was “totally prepared” to go to war with the US.

He added Kim Jong-un “expected” the conflict to happen, but said the meeting between the two leaders improved relations.

However, the North was not alone in preparation for a potential conflict.

Mr Woodward claims the US had reviewed a plan which could have involved “the use of 80 nuclear weapons” if the North did attack.

Mr Trump told the author and journalist the US had come “much closer than anyone would know” to war with North Korea.

The details have been revealed in the US journalist’s new book ‘Rage’, which provides insight into Mr Trump’s presidency.

Tensions between the two countries simmered after the North test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017 which potentially had the range to strike US territory.

In response, Mr Woodward reveals the US sent a warning missile towards the North in retaliation.

READ: Brexit WARNING: US threatens to scrap chances of UK trade deal in letter to Boris Johnson

The North launched another ICBM later that month and another one the following month.

Meetings between Mr Kim and Mr Trump followed the tensions with the aim of North Korea denuclearisation.

The two leaders met three times, with the last meeting ending unsuccessfully.

The North confirmed it had test-fired yet another type of ballistic missile in 2019 which could have carried a nuclear weapon.

It has been hoped the two leaders could start talks again, though Mr Trump faces re-election in November.

In other news, Donald Trump has recently claimed he read ‘Rage’ – the book in which Mr Woodward made the revelations above – in just one sitting.

The president was critical of the 391-page book, and described it as “very boring”.

US journalist and ‘Rage’ author Bob Woodward rose to prominence after he broke the Watergate scandal along with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein.

The scandal has been described as one of the greatest political upsets in US history and led to the resignation of US president Richard Nixon.



Kim Jong-un delighted by 'socialist fairyland' as he hails 'miracle' after Typhoon Bavi

However, one analyst told Express.co.uk the propaganda blitz should not in any way be seen as evidence the Supreme Leader was adopting a more caring attitude towards his countrymen. Typhoon Bavi lashed North Korea last month, with the event attracting an unusual amount of coverage on Korean Central Television (KCTV), with two other typhoons also causing significant damage.

The risk is the damage will have a knock-on impact on food supplies – famine is after all believed to have killed 3.5 million North Koreans in the 1990s.

Kim’s visit to the Kangbuk-ri village, in the southwest of the country, saw him surrounded by a phalanx of military officials, and dressed in a flowing white shirt, looking somewhat on the heavy side.

State-run news agency KNCA claimed troops had “removed all the traces of the natural disaster”, and rebuilt the surrounding villages as a “socialist fairyland”.

Kim himself reportedly said he “felt as is he were looking at a different world” after seeing the works which had been carried out on the village, “which had looked so pitiful for its backwardness plus damage by natural disaster”, KCNA reported.

Speaking afterwards, he added: “The People’s Army is made up of creators of all miracles on this land.

“The genuine might of the People’s Army lies not in the number of troops and the might of ammunitions but in their ardent love for their country.”

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“If you go inside somewhere like the Science and Technology Center, there are little red notices above the computer monitor screens saying it was a gift from Kim.

“These little reminders are everywhere and meant to give the illusion of a benevolent leader.

“The same was done for his father and grandfather.”

Rumours about Kim’s health circulated after he disappeared from public view in April, leading some to conclude he was either dead or in a coma as a result of botched heart surgery.

He subsequently re-emerged at the end of the month, with footage released which showed him opening a fertiliser factory in Hong Kong – although sceptics pointed out there was no way to date this.

He was also pictured apparently haranguing officials during an inspection of a delayed hospital construction project.

Observers have also suggested the 36-year-old is not in good health.

Ruth Ann Monti, author of 100 Facts About North Korea, told Express.co.uk last month: “Kim is seriously unhealthy!

“He’s quite overweight, smokes, drinks, and keeps a very rich diet.

“This is certainly not a healthy lifestyle!”