On 27 June it became known that North Korea annually imports from Russia 200 — 300 thousand tons of diesel fuel and other petroleum products. About it to Agency Kyodo, during an interview with a former official from the “office 39”, which was engaged in the fuel supply. Under the control of this structure are the finances of the Chairman of the workers ‘ party of Korea, Kim Jong-UN. The DPRK turned nuclear and missile program, administration of the trump’s effect on China to restrict oil supplies to the DPRK, the volumes of which amount to approximately 500 thousand tons per year. Since it became aware of the existence of the Russian route and support the economy of North Korea, it is likely that once again the focus will be the strengthening of sanctions.
The former official is 59-year-old Lee Jeong-Ho. In 2014 he and his family escaped to South Korea. He currently lives in the suburbs of Washington. Lee Jeong-Ho gives first interview under his real name.
He also spoke about how “Office 39,” earn foreign currency. American officials meet with Lee Jeong-Ho, showing interest in his person.
According to other immigrants from the DPRK, Pyongyang forges documents and is acquiring Russian fuel under the guise of buyers from China. In the result, the DPRK delivered an enormous amount of oil. Thus, it became known about the realities of the grey trade, which is not counted in official statistics.
It is expected that Russia to this day supplies to the DPRK petroleum products in large quantity. Chances are that’s why earlier this month the US Treasury Department has included in the sanctions list of the Russian oil company.
“Office 39,” Lee Jeong-Ho headed the trade Department, which deals with the export of seafood and agricultural products. In addition, it had to do with trade between Japan and the DPRK, the supply of fuel from the far East region of Russia and to export coal to China. Before fleeing to South Korea, he was in Dalian.
According to Lee Jeong-Ho, “Office 39,” receives foreign currency in a variety of ways: the gold export seafood and agricultural products, the subcontracting trade, sending the labor force and so on. Lee Jeong-Ho said that Kim Jong UN protested when in July 2014 the head of China, XI Jinping went to South Korea, not the DPRK, and ordered to increase the volume of trade with Russia and countries of South-East Asia.
In addition, according to the former official, North Korea started to import oil products from Russia in the 1990-ies. Most of them are diesel. It is delivered by tanker from Vladivostok or Nakhodka to Singapore through various intermediaries.
Chinese crude oil is processed and received gasoline or diesel fuel in the amount of 170 — 200 thousand tons per year go fully into the army. In turn, the Russian oil is used for different purposes: cars, ships, trains and so on. The reality is that the economy of the DPRK is completely dependent on Russia for fuel supplies.