Freitag, 21. Oktober 2016

Clowns... den deutschen Medien wollte ich eigentlich ignorieren, aber ich sehe mich nun mal wieder genötigt, auf die allgemeine Verflachung hinzuweisen, die sich ausbreitet. Liest man das ratlose und schlecht recherchierte Gestottere im Blätterwald zu den "rätselhaften Clowns", die derzeit in Deutschland ihr Unwesen treiben, dann fragt man sich: Haben diese Freelancer unter den "Journalisten" denn nicht wenigstens in den bisher drei absolvierten Semestern Politikwissenschaft aufgepasst oder sich auch in dieser Zeit eher mit Handyspielchen und dem von Mutti gesponserten MacBook beschäftigt?

Jede anständige Recherche hätte auf eine bestimmte und seit Jahren bekannte Subkultur in den USA hingewiesen und auch die (pseudo)kulturellen Hintergründe verständlich gemacht, die nun von einigen Dummköpfen hierzulande kopiert werden - wie überhaupt die ganze, sinnentleerte "Gangsta"-"Kultur" diverser Kleinkrimineller ohne Schulabschluss.

Man werfe einen Blick in einschlägige Publikationen, die zu finden offenbar die digitale Medienbohème nicht in der Lage ist. Meinetwegen fange man bei Google an:

Diese Gestalten, die meines Erachtens überwiegend während ihres offenen Strafvollzugs fotografiert worden sind (ich kann mich natürlich irren), fühlen sich einer Subkultur zugehörig, die den US-Behörden aus gutem Grund seit langer Zeit ein Dorn im Auge sind:

Steht da irgendo etwas von "Clowns", "Klownz" usw.? Ja. Es handelt sich nicht um Spaßvögel mit Farbe im Gesicht, sondern um Kriminelle oder von Kriminellen beeinflusste oder instrumentaliserte Banden, die in den USA der Organisierten Kriminalität (bzw. den Gangs) zugerechnet werden - aus gutem Grunde! Bei den "Outside Gang Influences" werden Banden aufgeführt, die für Hunderte an Morden, Schießereien, Drogenhandel, Prostitution usw. verantwortlich sind und deren Tentakel sich seit Jahren auch nach Europa ausdehnen. Auch andere Länder sind davon betroffen, was interessanterweise mit den dortigen Stützpunkten des US-Militärs zusammenhängt.

Das Rumgehampel dieser Leute, die man hier auf den Fotos bewundern kann, lässt sich hierzulande auch im Straßenland beobachten. Eine dramatische Entwicklung kann ich in  Deutschland noch nicht erkennen, jedoch sollte man auf der Hut sein und sich rechtzeitig mit dem nötigen Hintergrundwissen versorgen, um entsprechend effektiv einschreiten zu können.

Auch angesichts der trüben, grauen Herbstkälte wird man in Deutschland wohl kaum verräterische Hotpants dieser Subkultur feststellen können:

Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2016

North Korea’s spy games...


Tracking the DPRK’s intelligence operations - is the title of my new text, published on NK Pro. 

North Korea's spy games: Tracking the DPRK's intelligence operations 

This is the first part of a series explaining why North Korea is a top priority target for Western and Asian intelligence agencies. 


Anyone who might be interested in my older piece about North Korean intelligence agencies, their structure and operations, should go to "North Korean Intelligence Structures", printed 2009 in the well known North Korean Review.

In the next weeks I will publish four more papers about North Korean intelligence, power structure, the existence of organised crime etc. - all to find on NK Pro.

Donnerstag, 29. September 2016

Office 39....

...gone? In the last weeks a few media reports describe the disappearance of Office 39 and 38. The name of the office would be State Affairs Commission (SAC). It is the old game with North Korea: What is real and what are rumours?

One of my favourite intelligence disciplines is RUMINT. In his book Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence  Robert W. Pringle wrote:

Also important was RUMINT (rumor intelligence or gossip) about the leadership of the Soviet Union and East Germany gathered from the talk of Soviet general officers in Berlin with their colleagues and families in Moscow.

Many of the books and papers about North Korea are dealing with RUMINT and even my article in Janes Intelligence Review from 2014 might have been RUMINT, when I mentioned there the rumours that Office 39 and 38 were merged into one new office named Moranbong Bureau.

Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd - some notions

The current news coverage about Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd shows remarkable details about the discreet operations of North Korean agencies. Beside the role of Hong Kong one must come to the conclusion to look deeper into the business networks in Dandong in China, near to the North Korean border. This is definitely one of the places where North Korean procurement agents and traders are active.

Dandong is not only a place where Muslims, living in North Korea, can buy halal  meat – as a Twitter user explains, showing this picture:

Obviously the business of Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd was more focused on the non-muslim parts of the North Korean society, especially the Kim clan and his network of loyal agencies. Comparing two adresses in Dandong it seems that both participants of this special business didn't have a long distance to walk when it comes to chatting about money and deals. The following shows the official contact adress of Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd:
The North Koreans in Dandong are sitting here:

Perfect conditions for doing business. And there are others sitting around Jiadi Square: Ever heard about SINO-KOREAN FRONTIER TRADE CITY Co., Ltd?
More or less a Joint Venture it had set up the "Pyongyang Carry Cargo Autodumper Manufacturing Factory". Their website says about their office in North Korea: "The Pyongyang office’s establishment is in the strong assistance of Committee of External Economic Cooperation (CPEEC) of the leaders, it is among a select group of offices that have established by China’s governmental and business firm in North Korea." The adress in Dandong is:

The "Liaison Person" is not so unknown in the Chinese-North Korean business network. Drew Thompson writes in his 2011 study "Silent partners":
Another Chinese investor in North Korea, Wang Yuangang, CEO of China-North Korea Border Trade City, started out in business in the 1980s making garments in Dandong for the domestic market. In 1999, he opened a street market with stalls for vendors to sell items to North Koreans right on the Chinese side of the bridge crossing the Yalu river. The city razed the market for a street improvement a few years later. In 2002, Mr. Wang set up a barter-trade market in Pyongyang and worked closely with Yang Bin, the Dutch-Chinese businessman who was named head of the Siniuju Special Administrative Region but was subsequently arrested and jailed by Chinese authorities for tax evasion before he could take up the post. At that time, most trade was by barter and the market was ultimately unsuccessful because of policy restrictions in North Korea.
 The company mentioned above produces e.g. this:

A rotary encoder may not be necessary for a nuclear fuel cycle, but this is something only experts can evaluate. Even the other products look somehow suspicious - for an ordinary person like me:

In 2012 the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) published a report, titled: "North Korea - Characeristics of Joint Ventures With Foreign Partners, 2004 - 2011". In this report they are listed as well:

The funny thing is, that this report already speaks about "Sino - DPRK" and not "Sino - Korean" - but means the same company. On many pages similar collaborations are listed and Dandong is certainly one of the main regions:

The North Korean partner produces vehicles which reminds me on some old East Bloc movies:

Anyway: Coming back to Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd: For observers of the North Korean system and their efforts to generate profits this company was not so under the radar as some people argue today. Already in 2010 the former "DPRK Business Monthly" (Volume 1, Number 2, March 2010) wrote about a bridge, linking Dandong with Sinuiju:

Ma Xiaohong, director of the Dandong Hongxiang Development Co. Ltd, a leading Sino-DPRK trade company, welcomed the project. "Currently, we have a long waiting time to cross the old bridge," she told the China Daily. "The new bridge will greatly increase trade volume and improve transportation."

In 2013 the responsible Chinese ministry mentioned the company in a register of companies with a special export license, here in the category "Border Trade":

"China Commodities", a category of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) database, still says about those bad guys: 

It was obviously an intensive, extended investigation and maybe some data breaches or leaks helped in this case: Beside other front companies and banks  the US indictment describes the role of "Fully Max Trading" - an entity which can be found in the Panama Papers:

Mittwoch, 3. August 2016

Examining allegations that Pakistan diverted Chinese-origin goods to the DPRK... the title of a new paper I just published at the King's College London at Project Alpha.

A series of allegations made in June 2016 has re-awakened the issue of Pakistani nuclear cooperation with North Korea. These allegations, published by an Indian news agency, state that Pakistani authorities have continued to supply nuclear-related material to North Korea, in violation of sanctions.

Project Alpha sought to substantiate or otherwise the allegations utilising open source information. The purpose of this case study is to set out what steps were taken and what information was validated such that follow-on study might be undertaken, should further information become available that could allow a conclusion to be drawn about the validity of the allegations.

This paper wouldn't be possible without the great ressources and the kind atmosphere at Project Alpha! 

Dienstag, 5. April 2016

Mossack Fonseca - not so unknown

Regarding the Panama Papers the next weeks seems to become interesting. But one can say that some of the until now mentioned entities are not so unknown or even shrouded in absolut secrecy: Take the company which is seen now as pure evil and responsible for the activities of the bad guys around the world: Mossack Fonseca. Nearly all newspaper talk about an "unknown", "secret", "hidden" company, somewhere located in the more shady corners of the world. But is this true? As far I can trust my own database I already found entries and documents e.g. from 2000, when Mossack Fonseca was enlisted in a directory of "Banking, Trust & Financial Services":

In the face of successfull business no wonder that in 2003 a worker of the company came to this statement:

There are a lot of more entries to find and I only came to those I find in my own database. Some of them were already leaked or hacked years ago and also the name the companies and people, who benefit from off-shore services:

Or this:

Years ago thousands of entities from a Panama database were ready to be analysed with software - as it is done today again. Panama is only one little, of course important place in this network:

And already 2003 Mossack Fonseca was mentioned in a paper about "Money Laundering, Global Financial Instability, and Tax Havens in the Pacific Islands", written by Anthony B van Fossen. Another one in 2008 was "Competing for criminal money", written by Brigitte Unger and Gregory Rawlings. All I want to say is: This company was never unknown and there are a lot of them.

A discussion about Offshore (and Onshore!) service providers is necessary and it seems not to be legitimate or even feasible to condemn now every company in this business. Too many people without any deeper knowledge or expertise now start to argue on a low level.

Sonntag, 29. November 2015

Calls in North Korea

When you are in North Korea and you want to phone someone in North Korea you may be interested in Orascom Telecom and Media Technology, the Egypt company which is struggling somehow with Cheo Technology or CHEO Technology JV Company Hq, to be precise. Cheo uses the name of Koryo Link.

The old times, when Orascom was the dominant business partner, are obviously gone and so one can read this: Koryolink Sales & Customer Service Center, CHEO Technology JV Company Hq. No words anymore about Orascom. First it was difficult to to find their office place, but then...:

And more detailed:

A helpful remark: A few minutes away is a restaurant where you can eat dog meat – if you like it and will not be nauseated by the smell during it is cooked.

Obviously you can buy the things you are familiar from any other country in the world:


While getting a contract as a customer it comes to the more bureaucratic and financial aspects, another adress seems to turn up. It was a little bit tricky to get this one:

It took a while and a good manipulating software, but after work was done I was able to read the contact details. Collecting phone and fax numbers in regions as North Korea, China or Hong Kong is fun and always thrilling: You start from raw data, check other databases and with imagination and creativity you first come to information and finally to pure intelligence:

In the meantime there are lot of people around who worked in the field and these people know how to do business in North Korea. They should be of interest for every intelligence agency snooping into North Korea. I came along this one:

This person seems to be experienced.

Well, as David Tucker wrote in his book about "The End Of Intelligence": "...Espionage is not a secret power. More than luck, though less than science, it is art..."