'N. Korean agent' charged in Australia

Australian police arrest a man accused of working on the black market to sell missile components and coal on behalf of North Korea, the first charges ever brought in Australia over the sale of weapons of mass destruction.
The Australian Federal Police arrested a Sydney man for allegedly acting as an economic agent for North Korea in Australia, in breach of both United Nations and Australian sanctions.
The Australian Federal Police arrested a Sydney man for allegedly acting as an economic agent for North Korea in Australia, in breach of both United Nations and Australian sanctions. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

A man described as a "loyal agent of North Korea" has been charged in Australia over the sale of weapons of mass destruction.

It is the first time anyone has been charged under the country's 1995 Weapons of Mass Destruction Act.

Chan Han Choi, a 59-year-old naturalised Australian of Korean descent, allegedly tried to broker the sale of missile components, including software for the guidance systems of ballistic missiles, as well as the sale of coal to third parties in Indonesia and Vietnam, police said yesterday.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, referring to the case, said it is "vitally important that all nations work to enforce sanctions against North Korea".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2017, with the headline ''N. Korean agent' charged in Australia'. Print Edition | Subscribe