SEOUL — North Korea has changed the names of its trading companies and falsified trade documents to avoid international sanctions and continue exporting weapons, a news report and an intelligence official said yesterday.
The UN Security Council placed tough sanctions on North Korea last year over its launch of a long-range rocket and a subsequent nuclear test, including the blacklisting of some North Korean companies suspected of involvement in weapons exports.
Since then, North Korea has changed the names of two of the companies involved — Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. and Korea Tangun Trading Corp. — to Gapmun Tosong and Jasongdang Trade, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported, citing South Korean and US intelligence officials.
North Korea also is apparently transporting arms exports through China and using forged trade invoices, labeling torpedoes as fish processing equipment and rocket shells as oil boring machines, for example, the newspaper said.
An official of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said the report appears to be true but declined to give further details and asked not to be identified because it involves an intelligence matter.