How high does Pong Su go?

Getting to the truth behind the North Korean ship Pong Su is a tricky thing. Keith Moor had an excellent story in today's Herald Sun about the likely link between the North Korean government and the activities of the ship:

THE jury that acquitted four Pong Su crew members yesterday never got to hear evidence about the North Korean Government's alleged role.

Two eminent US experts on North Korea, Balbina Hwang and Joe Bermudez, gave written and verbal evidence during the Pong Su trial.

But Supreme Court judge Murray Kellam ruled the jury was not allowed to hear it.

Both experts said they had no doubt the North Korean Government was involved in the heroin run.

They revealed the North Korean Government created a secretive department, known as Bureau 39, to control and increase the flow of foreign exchange through legal and illegal imports.

"Its officials are involved in heroin and amphetamine trafficking that generates as much as $500 million annually," Ms Hwang said.


Without knowing much about the specifics of the Pong So, I have been aware of various illicit pies in which the DPRK government sticks its chubby fingers.

One Korea-watcher I've spoken to explained that the North Korean foreign embassies abroad (with the likely exception of Moscow and Beijing) are not funded from Pyongyang, and so need to be self-supporting. Given that diplomatic visas rule out working at the Yarralumla McDonald's for these twelve who constitute the Australian diplomatic presence, they must rely on illicit sources of income. Which brings us to Pong Su.

Comments

John Lee said…
Mick Keelty isn't letting this go either.
Anonymous said…
Wonder if the North Koreans read the Air America - CIA handbooks first?

Cheers

Cameron

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