2003 July 23 Wednesday
North Korean Bank In Austria Used For Spying

The North Korean Golden Star Bank in Vienna Austria is used for spying and probably for acquiring technology.

The report says: "There are detectable efforts by the North Korean secret services to place its agents in diplomatic and non-diplomatic positions in Austria. The camouflage for these activities is Europe's only established branch of the North Korean state bank, which is located in Vienna, as well as martial arts clubs established around the country."

It added that the North Koreans are "finding it increasingly difficult to raise the finances to fund the further development of weapons of mass destruction, as well as for the modernisation of middle-range missiles, and are looking increasingly to the West for the needed know-how and technical components, which means it is vital for Austria to make sure it keeps a close eye on North Korean representatives".

The Austrian authorities claim they do not have enough evidence to justify shutting down the bank. Is that true? If so, is this state of affairs a consequence of Austria's banking secrecy laws that make it easier for banks to hide from authorities what they are doing?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 July 23 10:21 AM  Korea


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