Samstag, 22. Juli 2017

Tracking illicit trade networks in Asia... something I like to do, because it definitely pays off.

2016 I wrote something about the connection between China, Pakistan and North Korea - which resulted in a lot of harsh reactions from Pakistan.

Well, I am ready to take another slap: My new piece is some kind of continuation - even if North Korea seems not to be so present this time. The key-points in this case are:
  • State-sponsored or state-owned companies that are engaged in illicit proliferation and procurement are likely to use networks of smaller, less prominent companies in their activities.
  • A case study involving the sale of potentially proliferation-relevant products from a Chinese company to a Pakistani company underlines the level of complexity and opacity that is involved in the operations of these networks.
  • Organised crime groups may be able to circumvent sanctions by using small, inconspicuous companies, as well as discreet financial transactions.
The paper is published by Jane's Intelligence Review online and will be out as a printed version soon.

Dienstag, 9. Mai 2017

China - North Korea: Cooperation not so new

An article by the Wall Street Journal describes the cooperation between a Chinese and a North Korean company: Limac Corp. and Ryonbong General Corp. The article declares:

„For most of the past decade, a Chinese state-owned company had a joint venture with a North Korean company under sanctions for involvement in Pyongyang’s atomic-weapons program, Chinese corporate and government records show.“

In my opinion: This is nothing new!

The article further says:

„The partnership of nearly a decade, not previously reported, shows how easily North Korea has skirted sanctions to do business with Chinese firms, a vital lifeline for the regime … The Ryonbong-Limac link was identified by Sayari Analytics, a financial-intelligence firm that works for banking and U.S. government clients and didn’t publicize its findings.“

Hm....As far as I understand: This is wrong!

A little research in my files shows me, that this described cooperation was of course already reported by the former Open Source Center – today: OpenSource Enterprise – which produced a lot of very good and useful reports for US Govenment. 


The OSC Report is - as one can see - from 2012. On p. 14 I find this:

It means that the cooperation between both actors is of course known at least since 2012!

Montag, 3. April 2017

Bugging the mob...

The practical thing is that in many cases mob and political power are near to each other – literally: Sometimes they live next door. This can be confusing for both. And for the media.

It is not so new but I still cannot believe it how ignorant parts of the media reported this nearly forgotten tweet from POTUS:

Is this really McCarthyism? Or is it fighting organised crime? Take a deeper look at the brave work of the United States District Court/Southern District Of New York and their investigations about the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organisation, obviously part of the Russian Organised Crime scene. Regarding the indictment this organisation "was a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in crimes including operating an illegal gambling business, money laundering, and extortion."

Beside others the Feds looked at this nice flat:

The adress can be found in the indictment:

Yes, it is the Trump Tower. Nice coincidence. A current look into a real estate database shows this:

Another chart appoints to the Russian family - and to POTUS:

Elena Trincher - she does not appear in the indictment - is also mentioned in the Russian internet:

Trump, the Russians, the can be a confusing thing to find a clue in this opaque net. Already in the near past, in 1999, the one who may be to near to POTUS, was bugged: Putin. He met Berezovskiy a few times in Spain, in Sotogrande - the place where Berezovskiy and Abramovich 1996 hugged each other tenderly (seen on a photography). In this interesting city Spain intelligence observed a Russian Organised Crime figure - who lived next door to Berezovskiy.

And all the distrust about meetings between Russians and US officials...this has tradition and nothing is new: During his presidential campaign Al Gore had the problem that he was the former contact for the relations between Moscow and the White House - under Clinton. Others as Strobe Talbott were acused to be - more or less - unofficial sources of intelligence for the Kremlin, claimed by... the Russian intelligence, here the former agent Sergei Tretyakov.

"Information at best will always be in some part fragmentary, obsolete, and ambiguous."(Armstrong, Willis C. (et al.): The Hazards of Single-Outcome Forecasting, in: Westerfield Bradford, H. (Ed.), Inside CIA's private world, Yale 1995, p. 242).

Donnerstag, 16. Februar 2017

First strike

Actually there is a lot to read about the possible reasons for the death of Kim Jong Nam. Beside all those theories I also like reading tea leaves:

A group inside the elite (possibly from the military or security circles and not from the Kim dynasty) works as a stand-alone organisation, willing to build up another type of regime. Their aim is to eliminate the Kim bloodline and all who are loyal to the Kims.

Since approximately three years there are concrete plans to conduct a covert, maybe a clandestine operation, targeting the elite in North Korea. Those people took a look into the Kim family and draw a huge graph, conducting Social Network Analysis. They studied M. S. Granovetter, “The Strength of Weak Ties”  (1973), and came to the conclusion, that „removal of weak ties, starting from the weakest link and working up, caused the communication network to break apart, while the removal of strong ties had little effect on the overall integrity of the network.“

Remembering the words of a North Korean security adviser, working now for the South Korean government and assuming that Kim Jong Nam was a weak link: This was the first strike against a target, very easy to reach, conducted by outside forces who want to overcome the regime and therefore they have to overcome the Kim dynasty.

This leads to the question: Who will be the next target?

Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2016

Omertà: North Korea’s organized crime...

... at home and abroad: - My last report on NK Pro about the efforts of the Kim Clan to make profit - anyhow.

I try to show that the DPRK's inner circle relies on hard currency from abroad - and operates much like an organized crime cartel.

In my opinion the nice graph from an informative Wikipedia article about the North Korean economy should definitely be supplemented somehow by an entity named "Criminal activities".

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.