Glocom is a entrance enterprise run by North Korean intelligence brokers that sells battlefield radio products in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a United Nations report drafted for the Protection Council viewed by Reuters.
Reuters observed that Glocom advertises around thirty radio techniques for “armed forces and paramilitary” companies on its Malaysian internet site, glocom.com.my.
Glocom’s internet site, which was taken down late past yr, stated the Very little India tackle in its contacts section. No a person solutions the door there and the mailbox outdoors is stuffed with unopened letters.
In fact, no enterprise by that identify exists in Malaysia. But two Malaysian organizations managed by North Korean shareholders and directors registered Glocom’s internet site in 2009, according to internet site and enterprise registration documents.
And it does have a enterprise, the draft U.N. report states. Past July, an air shipment of North Korean armed forces communications products, sent from China and sure for Eritrea, was intercepted in an unnamed state. The seized products involved 45 packing containers of battlefield radios and components labeled “Glocom”, small for Global Communications Co.
Glocom is managed by the Reconnaissance Common Bureau, the North Korean intelligence company tasked with overseas operations and weapons procurement, the report states, citing undisclosed information and facts it received.
A spokesman for North Korea’s mission at the U.N. instructed Reuters he had no information and facts about Glocom.
U.N. resolution 1874, adopted in 2009, expanded the arms embargo in opposition to North Korea to involve armed forces products and all “associated materiel”.
But implementation of the sanctions “stays insufficient and very inconsistent” among member international locations, the U.N. report states, and North Korea is applying “evasion tactics that are rising in scale, scope and sophistication.”
Malaysia is a person of the couple international locations in the entire world which had sturdy ties with North Korea. Their citizens can journey to just about every other’s international locations without having visas. But those ties have begun to sour immediately after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged fifty percent-brother was murdered at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on Feb thirteen.
In accordance to the “WHOIS” database, which discloses internet site ownership, Glocom.com.my was registered in 2009 by an entity referred to as International Global Technique applying the “Very little India” tackle. A similarly named enterprise, International Golden Companies is stated as the speak to point on Glocom’s internet site.
Glocom is operated by the Pyongyang branch of a Singapore-primarily based enterprise referred to as Pan Techniques, the draft U.N. report states, citing an invoice and other information and facts it received.
Louis Reduced, running director of Pan Techniques in Singapore said his enterprise utilized to have an office in Pyongyang from 1996 but officially ended relations with North Korea in 2010 and was no more time in management of any enterprise there.
“They use (the) Pan Techniques (identify) and say it can be a overseas enterprise, but they function almost everything by themselves,” Reduced instructed Reuters referring to the North Koreans at the Pyongyang office.
Pan Techniques Pyongyang utilized lender accounts, entrance organizations and brokers typically primarily based in China and Malaysia to purchase parts and provide accomplished radio techniques, the U.N. report states. Pan Techniques Pyongyang could not be arrived at for remark.
A single of the directors of Pan Techniques Pyongyang is Ryang Su Nyo. In accordance to a source with direct knowledge of her qualifications, Ryang studies to “Liaison Office environment 519”, a office in the Reconnaissance Common Bureau. Ryang is also stated as a shareholder of International Global Technique, the enterprise that registered Glocom’s internet site.
Reuters has not been in a position to speak to Ryang.
Ryang usually traveled to Singapore and Malaysia to meet up with with Pan Techniques reps, the draft U.N. report states.
On a person these types of vacation in February 2014, she and two other North Koreans were being detained in Malaysia for trying to smuggle $450,000 via customs at Kuala Lumpur’s price range airport terminal, two resources with direct knowledge of the condition instructed Reuters.
The North Korean trio instructed Malaysian authorities they all worked for Pan Techniques and the cash belonged to the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, according to the two resources.
The Malaysian Lawyer Common decided not to press fees since of insufficient evidence. A 7 days later, the trio was allowed to journey, and the North Korean embassy claimed the cash, the resources said. All three had passports assigned to governing administration officers, the resources said.
Malaysia’s Customs Department and the Lawyer General’s office did not answer to requests for remark around the weekend.
The Pan Techniques consultant in Kuala Lumpur is a North Korean by the identify of Kim Chang Hyok, the U.N. report states.
Kim, who also goes by James Kim, was a founding director of International Golden Companies, the enterprise stated in the contacts section of the Glocom internet site. Kim is director and shareholder of 4 other organizations in Malaysia operating in the fields of IT and trade, according to the Malaysian enterprise registry.
He did not answer to requests for remark by mail or email.
The United Nations panel, which prepared the draft report, requested the Malaysian governing administration if it would expel Kim and freeze the belongings of International Golden Companies and International Global Technique to comply with U.N. sanctions. The U.N. did not say when it built the ask for.
“The panel has still to obtain an answer,” the report said.
Reuters has not received a reaction from the Malaysian governing administration to recurring requests for remark about Glocom.
A single of Glocom’s early associates in Malaysia was Mustapha Ya’akub, a distinguished member of Malaysia’s ruling United Malays Countrywide Organisation (UMNO). Since 2014, he has been stated as a director of International Golden Companies
As secretary of the UMNO youth wing’s international affairs bureau, Mustapha fostered political connections in the nineteen nineties with international locations, these types of as Iran, Libya and North Korea. Glocom’s Very little India tackle once housed a enterprise owned by UMNO Youth.
Mustapha, 67, said he had been a Glocom enterprise partner “quite a few several years back” and said it has been repeatedly managed by various North Koreans, which include Kim Chang Hyok, whom he said he understood. He did not divulge his position in the enterprise, and denied any knowledge of Glocom’s recent enterprise.
“We assumed at the time it may be a good strategy to go into enterprise together,” Mustapha instructed Reuters about his to start with meeting with his North Korean enterprise contacts. He did not say who those contacts were being or what they talked about. He denied any knowledge of Glocom’s recent enterprise.
Glocom advertises and displays its wares without having disclosing its North Korean connections.
“Everywhere, Whenever in Battlefield,” reads the slogan on a person of various 2014 Glocom catalogs received by Reuters.
An advertisement in the September 2012 version of the Asian Armed forces Critique said Glocom develops radios and products for “armed forces and paramilitary organisations”.
A spokesman for the journal verified the advertisement had been purchased by Glocom, but said the journal was unaware of its alleged back links to North Korea.
Glocom has exhibited at minimum three occasions due to the fact 2006 at Malaysia’s biennial arms display, Defence Companies Asia (DSA), according to Glocom’s internet site.
At DSA 2016, Glocom paid two,000 ringgit ($450) to share a desk in the booth of Malaysia’s Integrated Securities Corporation, its director Hassan Masri instructed Reuters by email.
Hassan said he had nothing at all to do with Glocom’s products and was unaware of its alleged back links to North Korea.
Aside from the North Koreans behind Glocom, clues on its internet site also point to its North Korean origins.
For instance, a person undated picture reveals a factory employee screening a Glocom radio process. A plaque nearby reveals he has gained a uniquely North Korean award: The Product Device No. 26 Prize,” named in honor of late leader Kim Jong Il, who is said to have successfully operated “Lathe No. 26” at the Pyongyang Textile Manufacturing facility when he was a pupil.
For a Graphic on Murder at the airport, click: in this article
For a Graphic on Glocom’s connections to North Korea, click: in this article
(Reporting by James Pearson and Rozanna Latiff. Added reporting by Nicole Nee in SINGAPORE, Michelle Cost in HONG KONG and Ned Parker in New York. Editing by Monthly bill Tarrant.)