The Irish Examiner reports that according to Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation figures the value of Irish exports of equipment that can be used for both military and civilian applications more than doubled last year to almost €3.3bn, of which show exports used solely for military purposes increased by 47% to €62.8m in 2016; and the number of licences issued to suppliers of military equipment went from 81 in 2015 to 128 in 2016. The majority of exp[orts were to the US, with sales worth €37.9m (including €29.5m for equipment used in aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles specially designed or modified for military use). Other destinations received far lower levels – the next being Germany (€8.7m) and Singapore (€7.7m). The Department said the licences it granted were mostly for components rather than finished goods. According to the article, the Department said that most of the increase was related to intra-company sales of dual-use equipment by one licence-holder. It also says only 2 licence applications were refused in 2016 on the grounds of “consideration about the intended end-use and the risk of diversion”.
The BBC and others reported on 17th December that Chan Han Choi, 59, who has lived in Australia for more than 30 years, has been arrested in Sydney for allegedly acting as an economic agent and brokering illegal exports from the country and discussing the supply of WMD to North Korea, Australian Federal Police (AFP) have said. Police allege he has broken both UN and Australian sanctions.
It is the first time anyone has been charged under Australia’s 1995 Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act.
The 6 charges relate to –
- brokering services related to North Korea’s weapons programme, including the sale of specialist services including the sale of missile components, including software for the guidance systems of ballistic missiles to foreign entities, in order to generate income for the regime; and
- brokering the sale of coal from North Korea to groups in Indonesia and Vietnam, though there was no indication officials in Indonesia or Vietnam had been involved in the attempted coal sales.