Malaysia stopped N. Korea shipment in 2011

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia intercepted and returned a shipment of North Korean military communications equipment sent to Thailand in 2011, the country's police chief said yesterday, amid growing scrutiny of the Southeast Asian nation's dealings with North Korea.

The comments came after Malaysia's Foreign Ministry this month rejected suggestions that it may have violated United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

Ties between the two nations have been strained since the Feb 13 murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Kuala Lumpur's international airport.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said yesterday that the authorities at its main port, Port Klang, had seized 250kg of the equipment, manufactured by Glocom, identified in a Reuters report as running an arms operation out of Malaysia.

The shipment's intended recipient, however, could not be traced and the equipment was returned to Pyongyang, Tan Sri Khalid told reporters at a news conference in Johor.

"After investigations, the recipient in Thailand was found not to exist," he said. "So we blocked the shipment from entering Malaysia and from being sent to Thailand."

Last month, Reuters reported that North Korean intelligence ran an arms operation out of Malaysia called Glocom, using two front companies identified as International Global System and International Golden Services.

Glocom sold battlefield radio equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a UN report submitted to the Security Council.

Mr Khalid said the two front companies had tried to sell Glocom equipment in Malaysia, including to the police and the army, but did not succeed.

Glocom had also exhibited at Malaysia's biennial arms show, Defence Services Asia, in 2012, 2014 and last year, without receiving any orders, he said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysia stopped N. Korea shipment in 2011'. Print Edition | Subscribe