Australian citizen allegedly brokering weapons of mass destruction for North Korea
A Sydney man has been arrested and charged with acting as an economic agent for North Korea and brokering weapons of mass destruction.
Australian Federal Police raided the 59-year-old’s Eastwood home, placing him under arrest.
He’s facing six charges of breaching the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, the United Nations Sanction Enforcement Law and the Autonomous Sanctions Act.
The man, believed to have been born in South Korea, has been living in Australia for about 30 years and is an Australian citizen.
He’s accused of brokering the sales of missile componentry and technical expertise from North Korea to other entities, specifically the sale of ballistic missile guidance software.
The AFP also allege he attempted to facilitate the sale of coal from North Korea to entities in Indonesia and Vietnam.
A transfer of around half a million dollars has allegedly been discovered but, if successful, the sales would have earned North Korea tens of millions of dollars.
He is the first person ever to face these charges in Australia.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan addressed the media, insisting there has never been any threat to Australians.
“I know these charges sound alarming, but let me be clear we are not suggesting there are any weapons or missile componentry that ever came to Australian soil nor that we believe we identified any immediate threat to the Australian community, and clearly if we did we would have went overt much sooner than we did.
“We will be alleging that all the activity occurred offshore and was purely another attempt for this man to trade goods and services as a way to raise revenue for the government of North Korea. This was his goal. His actions were all around trying to raise revenue for North Korea.
“The AFP is saying this man is a loyal agent of North Korea, believing he was acting to serve some higher patriotic purpose.
“Clearly this is nothing like we’ve seen before in Australian law enforcement.”
The man didn’t apply for bail and formally had it refused.
Click PLAY below to watch the moment AFP officers arrested the man