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Korea

Korea Bought $640 Million in Luxury Goods From China in 2017

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SEOUL: North Korea imported at least $640 million worth of luxury goods from China last year, in defiance of UN sanctions outlawing such trade over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, a South Korean lawmaker said. The United States has urged strict implementation of sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign which Washington has credited with bringing impoverished North ... Read More »

Korean Security Agents Confiscate, Sell Smuggled Mushrooms

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Pine mushrooms smuggled from North Korea into China are being seized from private traders by security agents, who sometimes sell the sought-after delicacy to smuggling gangs and pocket the profits, North Korean sources say. Considered a valuable source of foreign currency by North Korea’s cash-strapped regime, the mushrooms fetch low prices when sold directly to trading firms controlled by the ... Read More »

Police bust largest-ever meth smuggling syndicate in S. Korea

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SEOUL: South Korean police said Monday they have arrested six members of a drug trafficking syndicate involving Taiwanese and Japanese organized crime rings of Taiwan, and South Korean drug dealers in connection with smuggling 112 kilograms of methamphetamine into the country. The amount was the largest seizure of the drug ever in South Korea. The drugs had an estimated street ... Read More »

Samsung Q3 profit likely hit record high but chip price falls cast shadow

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SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said quarterly operating profit likely surged by a fifth to a record high, with its chip unit bolstered by robust demand from data centers and gains in production yields. But sharp price slides for some types of semiconductors have brought an end to a two-year super cycle of tight supply and soaring demand, and analysts ... Read More »

North Korean detained by Vladivostok customs for “large scale” cash smuggling

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Authorities at Vladivostok’s Pervomaisky customs post on Tuesday detained a North Korean citizen for bringing USD$180,000 in undeclared cash into Russia, local customs officials reported. The money – more than 15 times the legal limit – was being kept in black plastic bags, photos released by customs suggest. Article 200.1 of Russia’s criminal code proscribes four years imprisonment or forced ... Read More »

Shinhan Alternative invests $300 mn in debt on Brooklyn office complex

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Shinhan Alternative Investment Management Inc. has invested $300 million in mezzanine debts against Dumbo Heights, an office campus in Brooklyn, on behalf of 10 South Korean institutional investors. The mezzanine notes are part of the $480 million refinancing package secured by the property’s co-owners, including Kushner Companies of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to investment banking sources on Sept. ... Read More »

Is Russia Smuggling Fuel To North Korea?

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This week United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley publicly accused Russia of “cheating” and “actively working to undermine” sanctions imposed by the U.N. on North Korea. In a scheduled meeting between the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, Haley said that the U.S. government is in possession of “evidence of consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations.” Haley’s ... Read More »

US accuses North Korea of illegally smuggling oil products

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The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate halt to all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea after finding that Pyongyang had violated restrictions on those imports. A confidential US report sent to UN Security Council and seen by AFP news agency, estimated that at least 759,793 barrels of oil products had ... Read More »

US accuses Korea of illegally smuggling oil products

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The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate halt to all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea after finding that Pyongyang had violated restrictions on those imports. A confidential US report sent to UN Security Council and seen by AFP news agency, estimated that at least 759,793 barrels of oil products had ... Read More »

Korean coal smuggling reveals lax sanctions enforcement

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SEOUL: Reports that North Korea illegally exported coal to South Korea via Russia — and Seoul’s initial lack of action — are raising new doubts about how effectively the international sanctions on the Kim Jong Un regime are being enforced. The suspected smuggling formed part of the backdrop to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for vigilant sanctions enforcement ... Read More »

Korea-linked smuggling ships made 25 stops in Japan

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TOKYO: Vessels suspected of illegally transporting North Korean coal entered Japanese ports at least 25 times since 2016, when an international ban on such exports took effect, highlighting a clear weakness in the global sanctions regime against the country. Read More »

Samsung Securities cancels bid for promissory notes business

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SEOUL: Samsung Securities Co. said Friday it voluntarily withdrew its application for the right to issue promissory notes following state penalties over its recent fat-finger chaos. The local brokerage firm has sought state approval since July last year for a license for the issuance of promissory notes in a bid to expand its business scope by taking on a role ... Read More »

Korea to ban some BMW vehicles over engine fires

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The South Korean government has said it will ban about 20,000 BMWs from its streets after a spate of the vehicles catching fire. The ban will apply to cars which have not yet been sent to BMW for safety checks under a voluntary recall. Nearly 30 engines caught on fire in 2018 mainly in the BMW’s 520d sedan models. BMW ... Read More »

Crackdown on Korean Air Smuggling Spooks Others

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A crackdown on luxury-goods smuggling by the Korean Air owner family has sufficiently spooked others to prompt them to declare their overseas purchases voluntarily. According to the Korea Customs Service on Wednesday, voluntary declarations of duty-free purchases by Korean tourists in the first seven months of this year rose 53 percent compared to the same period of last year to ... Read More »

A North Korean defector paid smugglers to get her family out. China sent them back

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SEOUL — He was a trombone player in North Korea who liked to whistle the Irish ballad “Danny Boy” as a private serenade for his wife. His son gained a medical degree in Pyongyang and wanted to become a professor. Sometime late last year, the two men disappeared into the North Korean gulags that hold a special place of punishment ... Read More »

Korea’s business sentiment droops in July amid cost increase, trade dispute

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Delivering another bleak picture to the Korean economy, business sentiment sharply deteriorated in July to suggest sluggishness in investment and hiring may not improve soon. According to the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the business survey index (BSI) of all industries came to 75 in July, slipping from 80 in June in the biggest fall since the June 2015 in ... Read More »

North Korean coal smuggling reveals lax sanctions enforcement

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SEOUL: Reports that North Korea illegally exported coal to South Korea via Russia — and Seoul’s initial lack of action — are raising new doubts about how effectively the international sanctions on the Kim Jong Un regime are being enforced. The suspected smuggling formed part of the backdrop to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for vigilant sanctions enforcement ... Read More »

UN blacklists dozens of ships, companies over North Korea smuggling

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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies on Friday over oil and coal smuggling by North Korea, boosting pressure on Pyongyang as leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet with his South Korean and US counterparts. The council’s North Korea sanctions committee acted on a request by the United States, designating 21 shipping ... Read More »

South Korea plans £26bn rail link with Russia in wake of North Korea summit

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A $35 billion (£26 billion) railtrack that would link North and South Korea to Moscow is among a flurry of ambitious economic projects being discussed in the wake of the Singapore summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the US president. The fragile international détente has spurred a wave of excitement among global investors keen to capitalise on the opening ... Read More »

South Korea’s Bithumb loses $31.5m in cryptocurrency heist

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The South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb said 35bn won ($31.5m) worth of virtual coins were stolen by hackers, the second local exchange targeted in just over a week as cyber thieves exposed the high risks of trading the digital asset. Bithumb said in a notice on its website that it had stopped all trading after ascertaining “some cryptocurrencies worth about ... Read More »