Published: Mon, December 18, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

N.Korean 'Black Market Agent' Arrested in Australia

N.Korean 'Black Market Agent' Arrested in Australia

Police have confirmed the arrest of a man of North Korean descent who has now ben charged with two counts of attempting to sell missiles and with another four under legislation enforcing United Nations and Australian sanctions against North Korea.

The case against the suspect, who has lived in Australia for more than 30 years, is a first for the country.

The Sydney man was identified by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other media as 59-year-old Chan Han Choi, who they said had been living in Australia for more than 30 years and was of Korean descent.

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They allege he had brokered services related to North Korea's weapons programme, including the sale of specialist services including ballistic missile technology to foreign entities, in order to generate income for the North Korean regime. He is facing six charges in total after being arrested at his home on Saturday night.

Police allege he has broken both United Nations and Australian sanctions.

Local authorities identified the suspect as a 59-year-old naturalized Australian man originally from South Korea. He said that, if successful, the various trades could have amounted to tens of millions of dollars.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised police and the sanctions in a statement Saturday. "The charges that are being laid are of the greatest nature". "Now the missile componentry actually assisted in the guidance of ballistic missiles". Turnbull has previously argued that North Korea should be seen as a criminal entity operating under the guise of a state. Choi is said to have been working for the North Korean government since at least 2008. He also said there was no indication that officials in Indonesia or Vietnam had been involved in the attempted coal sales.

"We believe this man participated in discussions about the sale of missile componentry from North Korea to other entities overseas as another attempt to try and raise revenue for the government in North Korea, again in breach of the sanctions", said Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan in a statement.

Gaughan said: "This is black market 101".

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"We believe this man participated in discussions about the sale of missile componentry from North Korea to other entities overseas as another attempt to try and raise revenue for the government in North Korea, again in breach of the sanctions", said Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan.

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