Montag, 13. Januar 2020

North Korea‘s allies abroad

The graphic below shows an overview of the allies of the North Korean regime abroad.


This includes naive parliamentarians and members of NGOs who - consciously or unconsciously - can be exploited by North Korea. Communication channels are important, but not at all costs.

This topic is part of a chapter on North Korean intelligence that I wrote for the volume "Intelligence Communities and Cultures in Asia and the Middle East: A Comprehensive Reference", which will be published shortly and is edited by Bob de Graaff.


Freitag, 29. November 2019

North Koreans in India

A few days ago, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) complained that it had been hacked, presumably by the evil North Koreans. Other institutions in India also complained about similar attacks. It is possible that North Korea has been trying to gather some information on Indian nuclear technology in order to deal with its own energy problems.

That's a strange thing with India and North Korea ... It's not fair that ISRO should be targeted by Pyongyang! After all, both states cultivate the very best of cooperation - even in the field of space research! For example, there is - and the following is absolutely nothing new, but maybe one should be reminded on that - the CENTER FOR SPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (CSSTEAP), which advertises: "Affiliated to the United Nations". Therefore the CSSTEAP homepage shows - next to the flag of the United Nations - also the flag of the workers' paradise:



For example, for the Academic Year 2018/2019, this Indian institute, which is working on proliferation sensitive subjects, is promoting the presumably thrilling "23 Post Graduate Course in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System". And on the second page of the brochure you will find it:

I'm pretty sure to recognize a North Korean, happy with farm labour, on page 7 of this booklet. Since I'm not completely sure, I anonymise this person:


Isn't this a badge with the Dear Leader on his shirt?

The above mentioned Dr. Hong Yong Il seems to be omnipresent. For example, he appears in a 2011 brochure with a personal message:


You also find him in the current Governing Board of the CSSTEAP. After all, he exchanged his Yahoo email for a Google account:



In any case, both email addresses are showing interesting insights of the international research community. Also interesting is his fax/telephone number: Although Il sits officially in the North Korean Embassy in New Delhi, the local official numbers of the embassy has a different number sequence. 

In view of the "THIRD POST GRADUATE COURSE ON GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEMS", which is advertised for the Academic Year 2019/2019 and again together with 
Dr. Hong Yong Il, the cover of the brochure seems somehow cynical - should the North Koreans really have hacked the ISRO:



Officially and compared to other states, there are only a few North Koreans participating at the various courses offered by the CSSTEAP. Interestingly enough, the Global Navigation Satellite Systems Courses conducted by the Center does not provide any information about the participating states on the website. It is probably just a coincidence that just about this relevant course nothing seems to be published. 

A small statistic shows the official presence of North Koreans at this Indian research institute, which I compiled from the data, given by the CSSTEAP itself:



    Somehow I am suspicious about the research topics of the North Koreans and the other students:
  • These are mostly dual use topics
  • North Korea's good relations with individual states (you just have to look at the list of flags on the homepage of the CSSTEAP) provides good opportunities for a transfer of relevant knowledge
  • Could it be that India is no longer listing the presence of North Korean scientists?
  • It would not be the first time that North Koreans travel under, for example, Mongolian identity
  • The CSSTEAP is just one single institute in India. ISRO alone has 23 locations in India, all of which are divided into several institutes

Well, India is our friend, especially given the mighty neighbor China. Focusing on evil Pakistan is actually more sexy. After all, they (Khan etc.) have sold the North Koreans a lot of things that are causing problems today. But it should be asked since how many years an official from the North Korean embassy is sitting in CSSTEAP in India!? The research carried out there is in many ways extremely useful to the North Korean National Aerospace Development Administration. But this is on sanction lists. And also the North Korean military needs the technology for geolocation technology. 

After all, the students also have fun, for example, visiting nice Indian submarines.

And even for their new submarine the North Koreans need some "scientific exchange"...

Montag, 25. November 2019

Chinese spies in Australia

Interesting stories to read and watch about Wang “William” Liqiang or Nick Zhao.

But this seems to be a funny coincidence:


After all, it is in Australia - obviously a paradise for the Chinese intelligence agencies.

Dienstag, 19. November 2019

Mercedes Maybach and North Korea

The UN Panel of Experts on North Korea (Security Council Resolution 1874 (2009)) writes in his report (S /2019/691):

A Mercedes-Maybach S-class limousine was observed first in Pyongyang and
then  in  Hanoi  during  the  United  States-Democratic  People’s  Republic  of  Korea
summit in February 2019 (p. 22)

During my extensive research on this case - which I conducted together with a good friend - I remembered an analysis on North Korean networks in Germany, which I didn't write for the public already in 2014. Beside other details I took a screenshot from a North Korean propaganda video, which showed the following:


I'm not an expert on cars, but even the experts who are familiar with it are not completely sure, if one can see one or two Maybachs in the background. On the left side it might be an older Mercedes S-class.

I am pretty sure that sanctions doesn't work - and the more people will pay for luxury goods the more they will find shady traders who are willing to take the risk. This is also the case with Mercedes Maybach!

Montag, 18. November 2019

Something new about North Korean intelligence...

... and a lot of other countries in this great anthology, coming very soon:


About the content and the authors:

  • Intelligence Communities in Asia—B. de Graaff.
  • Afghanistan—D. Patang.
  • Bangladesh—A.S.M. Ali Ashraf.
  • China—X. Guo.
  • India—P. Mahadevan.
  • Iran—C.A. Wege.
  • Iraq—I. al-Marashi.
  • Israel—E. Kahana.
  • Japan—Y. Kobayashi.
  • Jordan—H. Al Jbour
  • Kazakhstan—F. Kovacevic.
  • Myanmar—A. Selth.
  • North Korea—S. Blancke.
  • Pakistan—K. Mukherjee.
  • Palestine—A. Tartir.
  • Russia—A. Kozovoï.
  • Saudi Arabia—C.M. Davidson.
  • South Korea—D.-A. Neuhaus.
  • Sri Lanka—V.K. Shashikumar.
  • Syria—F. Peil.
  • Taiwan—J. Rosenke.
  • Tajikistan—A. Matveeva.
  • Turkey—I. Yilmaz.
  • Yemen—A. Chimente.
  • Elements of an Asian Intelligence Culture—B. de Graaff.







Samstag, 9. November 2019

Heckler & Koch...

...könnte - sollte man einem Bericht des Focus Glauben schenken - an einen ausländischen Käufer gehen. Der Artikel mit dem Titel "BND prüft möglichen Verkauf von Heckler & Koch an Offshore-Firmen auf Barbados" nennt ein paar Namen. U.a. heisst es: "Konkret geht es um den auf Barbados ansässigen französischen Rechtsanwalt Gerard Lussan."

Man kann nur hoffen, dass dieser Kauf gründlich geprüft wird. Das Netzwerk der Personen und Firmen, die dahinter stehen (stecken?), also das ganze Netzwerk, bringt einen aussenstehenden Beobachter doch zum Nachdenken. Bemerkenswert finde ich beispielsweise die Zahlen zu einer der Firmen von Gerard Lussan: Thurloe Finance Ltd.: Am 31. August 2018 präsentierte sie stolz folgende Bilanz:



Das sah einmal bedeutend anders aus! Und zwar am 31. August 2017:



Man darf also gespannt sein, wie diese Geschichte weitergehen wird.

Samstag, 2. November 2019

Another criminal mental confusion

My last research was definitely the most disturbing one - when it comes to me. I asked myself again: How much can the human mind actually erode and turn into its perverse opposite?



My last paper for Jane's Intelligence Review is about "Incels escalate misogyny and far-right extremism online".

The keypoints are:
 
  • The online ‘Incel’ scene has connections to far-right extremism, which itself is often characterised by extreme misogyny.
  • Mass shootings can frequently be tracked back to the Incel milieu, with perpetrators glorified as heroes and revolutionaries in Incel forums.
  • The Incel culture itself is typified by a virulent mix of adolescent and far-right ideology, and in parts espouses terrorist tactics such as the use of assault rifles, knives, explosives, and vans. 

Right-wing extremist Stephan Balliet on 9 October 2019 violently tried to gain access to a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, intending to shoot as many Jewish worshippers as possible. Watching his livestream I came - again - across this rightwing imagination of feminism as a (liberal, jewish) conspiracy. Reading all the horrible postings and joking comments on his and other, similar shootings is hard to stand.