North Korea’s illicit smuggling network ‘Office 39’ helps Kim Jong-un maintain life of luxury

Reports allege that inside something called 'Office 39' activities like drugs manufacturing and trafficking, counterfeiting, gold smuggling, arms dealing and slave labor are managed and sponsored. 

North Korea’s illicit smuggling network ‘Office 39’ helps Kim Jong-un maintain life of luxury

In a startling revelation, North Korea's Kim Jong-un operates illegal activites using government building in the nation's capital. Reports allege that inside something called 'Office 39' activities like drugs manufacturing and trafficking, counterfeiting, gold smuggling, arms dealing and slave labor are managed and sponsored. 

According to David Maxwell, a retired US Army Special Forces colonel and North Korea expert all the money that the Kims' spend to buy fancy stuff comes from Office 39. “Where do you think Kim gets his cognacs, Mercedes and Rolex watches?", he asked. The organisation is particularly useful given that North Korea is limited by sanctions, he said.

Jason Lee, a North Korean defector, told the Post: “It’s like a bank for Kim Jong-un. But he’s gotten a little more careful in recent years about the illegal activity. It was getting too much attention and looking bad for the Party.”

Both Lee, 35, and his father worked as executives in Office 39, running shipping companies, before they fled Pyongyang for Seoul and then the US.

An Asia specialist at Park Strategies in New York, Sean King explained to the Post: “The Kims are like an organized crime family masquerading as the leaders of a country.

Some reports suggest Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong's husband Choe Song, is either a Room 39 official or works for a military unit guarding his brother-in-law.

Kim’s late father Kim Jong-Il had launched Office 39 in 1974.