President Trump Cracks Down on NKorea and Trading Partners
NKorea’s government has been economically isolated but its embassies have been illegally raising money through profit-making ventures for decades to support themselves and send surpluses back home.
The story comes as tensions between the US and NKorea continue to rise as Pyongyang builds up its missile and defense program.
The United Nations has hit NKorea with tough sanctions, while President Donald Trump signed an executive order targeting NKorea and its trading partners.
In Sofia, Bulgaria, the NKorean embassy rents out its building for parties and events.
At other locations, deals have been brokered for weapons and drugs, as well as cows and machine tools.
Liquor, cigarettes, luxury cars and other items that can be imported duty-free and sold again for a profit have also been smuggled by diplomats.
“My late father-in-law was an ambassador,” said Marcus Noland, an executive vice president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, “and he told me that in India, years ago, it was known within the diplomatic corps that if you wanted to buy beef, you could knock on the back door of the NKorean Embassy in Delhi. They ran an abattoir in the basement.”
NKorea does not fund the embassies, and the delegations are still expected to make money and send surpluses back home.