Everything or almost everything in North Korea has the same creator: Kim Il-sung, the founder of the dictatorship and also the grandfather of Kim jong-un. The mysterious Office 39 was also his idea.
Officially called Office 39 of the Central Committee of the Korean Labor PartyThis secret organization was launched in the 1970s to raise funds for the royal coffers. With its income, the Kim dynasty managed to maintain its exotic luxuries and whims, as well as its dangerous nuclear programs.
It is that Kim Jong-un likes the extravagant and brilliant ... After weeks of mysteries - with even rumors that left him for dead - it is believed that the dictator is being held in his luxury complex in Wonsan, one of its 17 palaces, which It has its own sports stadium and a private airstrip. It also has its own train station underneath its Pyongyang Palace, a luxury yacht and a high-end Mercedes fleet.
And in addition to living as few live in the world, the North Korean has built an arsenal of around 30 nuclear weapons and thousands of chemical and biological weapons.
How did you achieve luxury and weapons, as the country is known to live in constant economic crisis and alarming levels of poverty for the majority of its population? Thanks to Office 39
Run by the dictator's sister, Kim Yo-jong - the same as her possible successor - Office 39 is a mysterious department whose sole purpose is to raise money by whatever means possible.
As detailed The Sun and the CNN, the list of clandestine activities to which it is dedicated is extremely serious. Includes gold smuggling, drug trafficking, counterfeiting of all kinds of products (including medicines) and cyber piracy. According to US intelligence experts, Office 39 raises between $ 500 and $ 2 billion a year, ensures The Sun.
"Office 39 is an organization to get foreign exchange for the leader, "said one defector to the North American chain ABC news. "In North Korea we call it the 'revolutionary fund,'" he added..
Drugs, fake drugs, counterfeits and cyber attacks
The British outlet claims that KIm Jong-un contracted Japanese chemicals to produce amphetamines and opiates, which are then sold in Japan, China and other parts of Asia.
In 2003, the newspaper recalled, Australian authorities seized a North Korean shipment of 150 kilograms of heroin, worth $ 25 million, on board the Korean ship Pong Su. According to North Korean expert Professor Robert Kelly, "Drug trafficking is one of the main sources of income for the Kim regime."
In addition to narcotics, Office 39 is also accused of manufacturing counterfeit medicines.. In fact, the dictatorship has been implicated in several incidents related to vfake iagraincluding the 2004 arrest of a man linked to Pyongyang with 4,000 counterfeit pills. In a 2005 report on North Korea, Japan claimed that North Korea was producing fake viagra pills in factories in Chonglin, for sale in Hong Kong, China and the Middle East.
During the last decades, lMysterious organization also became famous for achieving the world's most accurate counterfeit of the $ 100 bill. It is believed to have circulated $ 100 million in counterfeit bills, according to a report by Professor Balbina Hwang of the American University, with an estimated return of £ 20 million a year. The party ended for North Korea when the ticket was redesigned in 2013.
Another alleged source of income is counterfeit products posing as to avoid harsh sanctions imposed on North Korean exports. There are knockoffs of everything, bags, pens, watches and even cigarettes. According The Sun, North Korea raises $ 150 million a year from these pirated products.
The regime, in addition totake advantage of the vast border with China to smuggle countless products, even gold. "We export everything we could - gold, jewelry, agricultural products - everything we sold to get money for him," he explained to ABC the defector, who was assigned to the Kumgang trading company to sell ginseng, precious stones, and gold from different parts of Asia.
He claimed that United Nations sanctions that prohibit most North Korean exports are easily diverted. "You just have to change the names of the companies and have branches in other countries. It is easy to operate in China. The border is a thousand kilometers long and it is wide open, so it is easy to smuggle anything," he added.
Another illegal activity is arms trafficking. Since 2006 and in response to nuclear tests, the UN has banned North Korea from the lucrative arms trade. But Office 39 would have found a way to continue the lucrative business: Seemingly legitimate companies like facade and arms sales through embassies.
A 2014 United Nations report revealed that North Korean weapons were purchased by Syria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Iran.
Since then thousands of North Korean weapons have been confiscated worldwide. Seven years ago a ship carrying weapons and missile parts was detained in Panama. "It is believed that its owners, Chongchongang Shipping, are a front company of the 39 Office," says the British newspaper.
In 2016, the United States tracked down a ship sailing under the Cambodian flag, with a North Korean crew, which sailed from North Korea to Egypt carrying $ 25 million worth of weapons. The shipment included 24,000 rocket-propelled grenades and components for another 6,000.
And the last addition to the list of crimes of the mysterious organization was cyber piracy. US authorities suspect that Kim Jong-un's army of hackers attempted to rob the Federal Reserve and that they orchestrated the famous "Wannacry" rescue attack, which struck millions of computers worldwide and briefly paralyzed the National Health Service of Britain.
Like everything in North Korea, Office 39 also transforms its blows into propaganda. Thus, cybercriminals have allegedly managed to steal South Korean warplanes by hacking into army computers.
"It is finding new and fertile ground in cybernetics. They can operate on a level playing field and compete effectively with any power. It is more difficult to detect and even more difficult to monitor, making it a perfect battleground for them," he accused. Go Myong-Hyun, from the Seoul-based Asian Institute for Political Studies.
Now Under the command of the dictator's ruthless sister, Office 39 has been funding the Kim for 50 years.
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