Australian police allege man tried to sell missile parts to help North Korea
Sydney: A South Korean-born Sydney man was charged on Sunday with acting as an economic agent for North Korea in Australia by allegedly attempting to broker sales worth tens of millions of dollars for Pyongyang that included components used in ballistic missiles.
The Australian Federal Police said 59-year-old naturalised Australian Chan Han Choi used encrypted communication to broker sales and discuss the supply of weapons of mass destruction. His actions contravened both United Nations and Australian sanctions against North Korea, police said.
Police said the man was acting to generate income for Pyongyang by arranging the sale of computer software used for guiding ballistic missiles as well as expertise from North Korea to other "international entities." Police didn't elaborate. Choi is facing six charges related to brokering the sale of missile componentry and expertise from North Korea to other international entities, and attempting to transfer coal from North Korea to entities in Indonesia and Vietnam.
Choi didn't appear or apply for bail in a Sydney court Sunday, and bail was formally refused. Choi is the first person charged under Australia's Weapons of Mass Destruction Act and could face a maximum 10- year prison sentence. Police said the charges related to his alleged activity over the past year, but that allegations dated back to 2008.