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North Korea

Essentra FZE Limited, a manufacturer of cigarette filters and tear tape has agreed to forfeit USD 665,112 in respect of "apparent" breaches of US sanctions relating to North Korea. Essentra is a company registered in the United Arab Emirates with no physical presence in the USA.

The USA describes it as "egregious."


Last week, the USA's FBI "unsealed" an indictment against a North Korean who they say was involved in the hacking organisation "Lazarus" which has been responsible for, amongst other things, the WannaCry virus that brought government, corporate and personal computers running Microsoft Windows software, or Linux machines running Windows emulation software, to their knees.

CoNet Section: 

We reproduce below, unedited, the full text of two announcements by US-CERT, the US government cyber security office, relating to the HIDDEN COBRA virus which contains information in addition to that previously published.

CoNet Section: 

We've been here before, or have we? Just six weeks ago was the tenth anniversary of the USA listing Banco Delta Asia of Macau and Hong Kong as being "of primary money laundering concern." But there was scant evidence of wrongdoing by BCA and what there was turned out to be largely made up. Is the Bank of Dandong, a mainland Chinese bank, any more culpable or is the USA back on the track of weapons of monetary destruction that don't really exist?

BIScom Subsection: 

Editorial Staff

The rising tensions between North Korea and the USA are reaching a desperately disturbing yet ridiculously comical level. Here is a false conversation between the Supreme Leader of each of those countries.

*Free for seven days*

In 2008, the USA removed North Korea from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. But as relations between KIM Jong Un and the rest of the world reach worrying levels of tension, the USA is getting ever closer to putting it back on the list. What does it mean and why are Malaysian banks exposed to a particularly high level of risk?

There is now no doubt that a man killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport's budget terminal KLIA2 was murdered and there is, equally, no doubt that he was KIM Jong-Nam, the half brother of North Korean "Supreme Leader" KIM Jong-Un. As we reported in a daily news round-up on 20170216, if NoKo authorities were behind the attack, choosing Malaysia as its venue was a poor decision. Then again, it would have been equally poor if the attack had taken part in Macau, a region of China, where the victim lived. As evidence mounts, both Malaysia and China have begun actions against North Korea, which now has almost no significant support from any significant country.

CoNet Section: 

Around the turn of this decade, Nigel Morris-Cotterill had surprisingly open access to the Embassy of North Korea in Kuala Lumpur. His experiences are instructive and fascinating.

The announcement by the US Treasury that it was implementing financial sanctions against North Korea should make no difference to most properly advised financial organisations.

BIScom Subsection: 

The UK Treasury has issued a notice bringing into effect additional requirements. Under the notice issued 6 May 2016, by 31 May credit and financial institutions must terminate all financial dealings with the government of North Korea, with the ruling Party - and essentially freeze the whole of North Korea out of the UK banking system by, amongst other things, closing branches and accounts.