Archive for the ‘Daesong Bank’ Category

Daedong Credit Bank Press Release

Monday, December 20th, 2010

On November 18, 2010, the US Treasury Department issued the following press release:

Treasury Designates Key Nodes of the Illicit Financing Network of North Korea’s Office 39

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13551 for being owned or controlled by Office 39 of the Korean Workers’ Party.  Office 39 is a secretive branch of the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) that provides critical support to North Korean leadership in part through engaging in illicit economic activities and managing slush funds and generating revenues for the leadership. Office 39 was named in the Annex to E.O. 13551, issued by President Obama on August 30, 2010, in response to the U.S. government’s longstanding concerns regarding North Korea’s involvement in a range of illicit activities, many of which are conducted through government agencies and associated front companies. Korea Daesong Bank is involved in facilitating North Korea’s illicit financing projects, and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation is used to facilitate foreign transactions on behalf of Office 39.

“Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation are key components of Office 39′s financial network supporting North Korea’s illicit and dangerous activities,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.  “Treasury will continue to use its authorities to target and disrupt the financial networks of entities involved in North Korean proliferation and other illicit activities.”

E.O. 13551 targets for sanctions individuals and entities facilitating North Korean trafficking in arms and related materiel; procurement of luxury goods; and engagement in certain illicit economic activities, such as money laundering, the counterfeiting of goods and currency, bulk cash smuggling and narcotics trafficking. As a result of today’s action, any assets of the designated entities that are within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities.

You can learn more about the Treasury’s press release here.

Here is the US Treasury Department’s new North Korea resource page.

In response, the Daedong Credit Bank issued the following press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

US Treasury Press Release 18th November 2010

London UK/Pyongyang DPRK, December 20th 2010

Daedong Credit Bank (DCB) has noted the press release of 18th November 2010 by the US Treasury and makes the following comments:

1.    Korea Daesong Bank (KDB) is a 30% shareholder in DCB.  DCB is not, and never has been, aware of any activity by KDB which is in breach of any of its obligations, domestic or international.  In particular, DCB is not aware of KDB having acted in breach of any sanctions.  DCB is not aware of any cause of concern about the conduct of KDB.

2.    KDB has no executive control of DCB.

3.    DCB is majority owned by overseas investors and is foreign-managed.

4.    DCB does not act and has never acted in breach of any of its domestic or international obligations.  DCB acts in a manner consistent with domestic and international law.

5.    DCB is apolitical and promotes foreign investment in the DPRK as a positive development.

The Daedong Credit Bank looks forward to playing a significant part in facilitating normal commercial relationships between the DPRK and the international business community.

About Daedong Credit Bank

Daedong Credit Bank is a joint venture retail bank based in Pyongyang. It was established in 1995 as “Peregrine Daesong Development Bank”. The Bank underwent a change of name and foreign ownership in 2000.

Daedong Credit Bank is the first, by fifteen years, foreign majority held bank in the DPRK. DCB considers itself a flagship successful joint venture in the DPRK, and a key part of the infrastructure needed to assist the foreign-invested ventures, which drive the country’s economic reforms.

The bank’s principal function is to offer normal “high street” banking facilities in hard currency to; foreign companies, joint ventures, international relief agencies and individuals doing legitimate business in the DPRK.

Daedong Credit Bank was the first bank in the DPRK to introduce, and vigorously implement, a comprehensive set of anti-money laundering procedures. DCB’s anti-money laundering procedure manual was introduced seven years ago, and subsequently updated based on anti-money laundering guidelines provided by the Asian Development Bank. The manual has been sent to, and accepted by, DCB’s international correspondent banks.

Daedong Credit Bank also maintains strict procedures for the detection and rejection of counterfeit bank notes; it uses regularly updated note checking machines, and has personnel with over 10 years’ of experience of handling notes. DCB have encountered and impounded the so-called ‘superdollar’ notes, proving that these notes (despite media misconceptions) are not undetectable.

The wealth of experience garnered over Daedong Credit Bank’s 15 years of successful operation is unrivaled.

Daedong Credit Bank has a significantly strong position in relation to the future economic development of the DPRK and, being the oldest established foreign invested commercial bank in the DPRK, it is the intention of the bank to capitalise on these advantages.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Daedong Credit Bank office address in Pyongyang is:

Daedong Credit Bank
401, Potonggang Hotel
Ansan-dong
Pyongchon District
Pyongyang
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Phone Switchboard  +850 2 381 2228/9    ext 401
Direct line     +850 2 381 4866
Mobile          +850 193 801 8400 *
*Note, the mobile number may not be obtainable from certain countries (eg UK and Hong Kong).
Corporate Website www.daedongcreditbank.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

US Treasury Press Release 18th November 2010

London UK/Pyongyang DPRK, December 20th 2010

Daedong Credit Bank (DCB) has noted the press release of 18th November 2010 by the US Treasury and makes the following comments:

1. Korea Daesong Bank (KDB) is a 30% shareholder in DCB. DCB is not, and never has been, aware of any activity by KDB which is in breach of any of its obligations, domestic or international. In particular, DCB is not aware of KDB having acted in breach of any sanctions. DCB is not aware of any cause of concern about the conduct of KDB.

2. KDB has no executive control of DCB.

3. DCB is majority owned by overseas investors and is foreign-managed.

4. DCB does not act and has never acted in breach of any of its domestic or international obligations. DCB acts in a manner consistent with domestic and international law.

5. DCB is apolitical and promotes foreign investment in the DPRK as a positive development.

The Daedong Credit Bank looks forward to playing a significant part in facilitating normal commercial relationships between the DPRK and the international business community.

About Daedong Credit Bank

Daedong Credit Bank is a joint venture retail bank based in Pyongyang. It was established in 1995 as “Peregrine Daesong Development Bank”. The Bank underwent a change of name and foreign ownership in 2000.

Daedong Credit Bank is the first, by fifteen years, foreign majority held bank in the DPRK. DCB considers itself a flagship successful joint venture in the DPRK, and a key part of the infrastructure needed to assist the foreign-invested ventures, which drive the country’s economic reforms.

The bank’s principal function is to offer normal “high street” banking facilities in hard currency to; foreign companies, joint ventures, international relief agencies and individuals doing legitimate business in the DPRK.

Daedong Credit Bank was the first bank in the DPRK to introduce, and vigorously implement, a comprehensive set of anti-money laundering procedures. DCB’s anti-money laundering procedure manual was introduced seven years ago, and subsequently updated based on anti-money laundering guidelines provided by the Asian Development Bank. The manual has been sent to, and accepted by, DCB’s international correspondent banks.

Daedong Credit Bank also maintains strict procedures for the detection and rejection of counterfeit bank notes; it uses regularly updated note checking machines, and has personnel with over 10 years’ of experience of handling notes. DCB have encountered and impounded the so-called ‘superdollar’ notes, proving that these notes (despite media misconceptions) are not undetectable.

The wealth of experience garnered over Daedong Credit Bank’s 15 years of successful operation is unrivalled.

Daedong Credit Bank has a significantly strong position in relation to the future economic development of the DPRK and, being the oldest established foreign invested commercial bank in the DPRK, it is the intention of the bank to capitalise on these advantages.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Daedong Credit Bank office address in Pyongyang is:

Daedong Credit Bank
401, Potonggang Hotel
Ansan-dong
Pyongchon District
Pyongyang
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Phone

Switchboard +850 2 381 2228/9 ext 401
Direct line
+850 2 381 4866
Mobile
+850 193 801 8400 *
*Note, the mobile number may not be obtainable from certain countries (eg UK and Hong Kong).

Corporate Website www.daedongcreditbank.com

#004

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US sanctions two more DPRK organizations

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

UPDATE 2: Here is the actual Treasury Department Press Release (11/18/2010):

Treasury Designates Key Nodes of the Illicit Financing Network of North Korea’s Office 39

11/18/2010
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13551 for being owned or controlled by Office 39 of the Korean Workers’ Party.  Office 39 is a secretive branch of the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) that provides critical support to North Korean leadership in part through engaging in illicit economic activities and managing slush funds and generating revenues for the leadership. Office 39 was named in the Annex to E.O. 13551, issued by President Obama on August 30, 2010, in response to the U.S. government’s longstanding concerns regarding North Korea’s involvement in a range of illicit activities, many of which are conducted through government agencies and associated front companies. Korea Daesong Bank is involved in facilitating North Korea’s illicit financing projects, and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation is used to facilitate foreign transactions on behalf of Office 39.

“Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation are key components of Office 39′s financial network supporting North Korea’s illicit and dangerous activities,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.  “Treasury will continue to use its authorities to target and disrupt the financial networks of entities involved in North Korean proliferation and other illicit activities.”

E.O. 13551 targets for sanctions individuals and entities facilitating North Korean trafficking in arms and related materiel; procurement of luxury goods; and engagement in certain illicit economic activities, such as money laundering, the counterfeiting of goods and currency, bulk cash smuggling and narcotics trafficking. As a result of today’s action, any assets of the designated entities that are within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities.

UPDATE 1: Here is the US Treasury Department’s web page on North Korea.

ORIGINAL POST: According to Reuters:

The United States sanctioned on Thursday two North Korean companies linked to a group it accuses of drug smuggling and other “illicit” activities to support the nation’s secretive leadership.

U.S. sanctions against North Korea aim in part to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programs, which the United States views as a threat to its allies South Korea and Japan. The North tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.

The Treasury Department’s moves against Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation will freeze any assets belonging to them that fall within U.S. jurisdiction as well as bar U.S. companies from dealing with them.

Their main aim is not to block North Korean assets in U.S. banks — analysts say there are unlikely to be any — but to discourage other banks from dealing with North Korea, thereby cutting off its access to foreign currency and luxury imports.

Perks and luxuries such as jewelry, fancy cars and yachts derived from North Korea’s shadowy network of overseas interests are believed to be one of the main tools Pyongyang uses to ensure loyalty among top military and party leaders to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

The Treasury described the two entities as “key nodes of the illicit financing network” of Office 39 of the Korean Workers’ Party, which it accuses of producing and smuggling narcotics to earn foreign exchange for the government.

“Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation are key components of Office 39′s financial network supporting North Korea’s illicit and dangerous activities,” Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey said in a statement.

Heroin Production?
The Treasury designated the two under a recent executive order that targets entities that support North Korea’s arms trafficking, facilitate its luxury goods purchases and engage in illicit economic activities such as money laundering, drug and bulk cash smuggling and counterfeiting goods and currency.

President Barack Obama signed the executive order on August 30 allowing the Treasury to block the U.S. assets of North Korean entities that trade in arms or luxury goods, counterfeit currency or engage in money laundering, drug smuggling or other “illicit” activity to support the government or its leaders.

When that executive order was announced, the Treasury accused Office 39 of producing opium and heroin and of smuggling narcotics such as methamphetamine.

U.S.-North Korean relations have deteriorated since Obama took office, with his aides deeply unhappy about Pyongyang’s decision to conduct nuclear and missile tests last year as well as the March 26 sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan.

Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in the incident, which the United States, South Korea and other nations blame squarely on North Korea. Pyongyang denies responsibility.

In the August 30 executive order, Obama cited the Cheonan’s sinking as well as 2009 nuclear and missile tests by North Korea as evidence it poses “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security, foreign policy and economy.

The Obama administration has been skeptical about returning to so-called six-party negotiations with the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia under which Pyongyang committed in 2005 to abandon its nuclear programs.

U.S. officials say they do not want to talk for the sake of talking and North Korea must show some commitment to abandoning its nuclear programs.
Read the full story here:
U.S. sanctions two North Korean entities
Reuters
Arshad Mohammed
11/18/2010

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More on Kim Jong-il’s court economy

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

According to the Choson Ilbo:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s youngest son and the heir apparent Kim Jong-un is already said to be busy amassing his own slush fund. Despite North Korea’s dire economic difficulties, Kim Jong-il himself is said to have stashed away between US$200-300 million every year to finance his lavish lifestyle and maintain the party elite’s loyalty to him.

With the money, North Korea would be able to import between 400,000 to 600,000 tons of rice, which would be enough to cover half the country’s food shortage of 1 million tons of rice per year.

Key departments within the Workers Party are pressuring agencies under their control to offer “loyalty funds” for the successor, a source familiar with North Korean affairs said. “A separate company has been established under the leadership of Kim Jong-un to secretly amass foreign currency.”

The source said Kim senior uses his slush fund to finance his expensive tastes, build monuments in his own honor and buy gifts for his loyal aides. Faced with increasing difficulties bolstering his slush funds under international sanctions, the Kim is said to have issued an ultimatum to his top officials in February, saying from now on he would judge their loyalty based on the amount they contribute to the fund.

The North is estimated to have imported more than $100 million worth of high-quality liquor, cars and other luxury goods in 2008. And also on the list are pet dogs, which the Kim family are said to adore. Kim buys dozens of German shepherds, Shih Tzus and other breeds from France and Switzerland every year. He also buys dog food, shampoo and other pet products as well as medical equipment for the dogs and has foreign veterinarians check their health.

Before nation founder Kim Il-sung’s birthday on April 15 this year, Kim imported around 200 high-end cars from China at a cost of some $5 million. A North Korean source said secret funds are also used to finance nuclear missile development and other state projects Kim Jong-il orders personally.

It is difficult to estimate the total amount of Kim’s slush fund. Experts can only guess that Kim has stashed huge sums of money in Swiss or Luxembourg bank accounts, as did other dictators like former president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos and ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The international press estimates Kim’s slush fund to be worth around $4 billion.

Kim started amassing his slush fund as soon as he was picked as the next leader of North Korea in 1974 to be able to buy the loyalty of top officials. A special department within North Korea’s Workers’ Party called Room 39 which manages Kim’s slush fund by collecting the loyalty funds, exporting local staples including pine mushrooms and operating stores in hotels. A large portion of the $100 million to $200 million North Korea makes each year from exporting weapons, producing counterfeit dollars, smuggling fake cigarettes and selling drugs are also put into Kim’s slush fund.

A North Korean source said a lot of the cash profits generated by the joint tourism business with South Korea end up inside Kim’s personal slush fund too, judging by the fact that Daesong Bank and Zokwang Trading, which do business with the South, are both controlled by Room 39.

Early this year, Kim appointed his high school friend Jon Il-chun to head Room 39. Jon was made the chief of a state development bank North Korea opened recently to lure foreign investment. A South Korean government official said there are suspicions that Kim is diverting some of the profits of the state development bank into his own slush fund as well.

Read the full story here:
How N.Korea’s Ruling Family Swells Its Private Coffers
Choson Ilbo
4/28/2010

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