Montag, 18. Dezember 2017

Why sanctions doesn't work with North Korea...

...or: Chatting with Chinese secretary

I did some research about the North Korean Tanchon Mining Machine Factory, a well known actor in the DPRK, often mentioned in various reports and a factory the North Koreans are proud of.

Looking for this factory I was guided to one company in China, named Xinhai Machine. Why? Because on their website they are aggregating news from their industry.Beside others they offered me an article in an North Korean journal I sometimes read anyway:

Staying a few seconds on their website I received friendly  help:

I didn't want to frustrate my business-minded star and so I started an interesting chat, which offered me some insights into trading with - firstly - totally unaware people:

  Due to the easy atmosphere I decided to be straightforward:

Following the email is easy and I found a few interesting clues, e.g. about their participation in the 12th International Exhibition of Mine, Mining, Construction Machinery and Related Equipment in Iran (2016):
 Unfortunately even the other search results showed nothing unusual, e.g. the one I found in the Cayman Islands Gazette from Monday, 25 September 2017, Issue No. 20/2017, page - which one should examine if this is related to the company I was chatting with:

Etc. etc. etc.

More interesting was looking for all the various email-addresses Xinhai seems to use, beside others this one:, which leads me to  the website The contact details are precise and show that both websites mentioned here are representing the same company. The following grim face is from Mr. Ding Hui:
This is what I meant with DPRK: North Korea. It seems that Xinhai really doesn't sell CNC machines, but any other mining stuff wouldn't be the problem. They are more or less open to any business and promote it frankly:

 Their websites mentions an interesting project which is possibly sanctioned:

Obviously this project is up-to-date:

Due to my tight timetable I didn't dig deeper, but I am  sure behind those friendly faces in Iran, Sudan etc. something is to find:

My chat showed me again how simple it is for the regime in Pyongyang to circumvent sanctions and to gain money. A trader who is asking about the meaning of "DPRK" will not hesitate to deliver any item to PYC.

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?