NK News article on the Kim family’s secretive slush fund for hard currency.
It’s been accused of many things: international drug dealing, insurance fraud, counterfeiting U.S. dollars. The list of alleged international illicit activity by North Korea’s Office 39 is long and complex.
But one thing is for sure: It is involved in the acquisition of hard currency for Kim Jong Un and the DPRK’s ruling elite, and has employed a variety of schemes to raise these funds.
Office 39’s purpose, at least in principle, is the funding of North Korea’s “royal economy”: the money funding the luxurious lifestyles of Kim Jong Un and his inner circle. Or, as one source put it: “buying the Danish hams and the French cognac.”
Getting concrete information on Office 39’s activity is extremely difficult if not involved in national intelligence sources, Martin Uden, former coordinator of the Panel of Experts at the United Nations on North Korea sanctions, told NK News.