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How a Chinese entrepreneur evaded sanctions and financed North Korea's nuclear weapons program

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Among the flurry of U. S. legal maneuverings on Tuesday involving North Korea, maybe the most revealing involves a federal lawsuit aimed at the businesses of one
Among the flurry of U. S. legal maneuverings on Tuesday involving North Korea, maybe the most revealing involves a federal lawsuit aimed at the businesses of one Chinese entrepreneur.
Chi Yupeng, a 48-year-old Chinese accountant, controls a network of companies that in recent years imported $700 million of North Korean coal.
And in return for the North Korean coal, according to U. S. officials, Chi’s companies sent back to North Korea an array of products: cellphones, sugar, luxury items and, perhaps most importantly, components of nuclear devices and missiles.
The details of Chi’s business network, laid out in a U. S. lawsuit seeking the forfeiture of funds that flowed through U. S. banks, suggest just how easy it was for one Chinese entrepreneur to evade the trade restrictions against North Korea and, more broadly, how important such trade has been in the development North Korea’s ever more fearsome arsenal.
Escalating trade sanctions enacted by the U. S. and the U. N. Security Council since 2006 have been accompanied at times by rhetoric suggesting that the regime of Kim Jong Un had been cut off from the world’s economy. But the Chi case, in addition to showing how porous the sanctions have been, underscore how the North Korean weapons program has relied on the country’s coal exports to China – which were booming until earlier this year.
One of Chi’s companies, Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Material, was the largest importer of North Korean coal, bringing in $234 million in 2016, according to Panjiva, a global trade data analytics company. And despite worldwide scrutiny of the North Korean coal trade, transactions involving Chi Yupeng’s companies in China and North Korean coal continued into June of this year.
North Korea’s state media released photos Wednesday that appear to show the designs of one or possibly two new missiles.
Concept diagrams of the missiles were seen hanging on a wall behind leader Kim Jong Un while he visited a plant that makes solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic-missile…
North Korea’s state media released photos Wednesday that appear to show the designs of one or possibly two new missiles.
Concept diagrams of the missiles were seen hanging on a wall behind leader Kim Jong Un while he visited a plant that makes solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic-missile…
“Chi Yupeng’s companies represented almost 10 percent of Chinese imports from North Korea last year.

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