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July 07, 2008 

Investigations in Germany and Japan Reveal Prohibited Reexports to North Korea

Japan's Daily Yomiuri reports that the Japan-made vacuum pumps found at a North Korean nuclear facility by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were exported from Japan to Taiwan and then reexported to a North Korean trading company. The article states that the North Korean trading company, known as Namchongang, is "headed" by a former North Korean diplomat who served as North Korea's representative for purposes of the IAEA inspection of the nuclear complex at Yongbyon, North Korea.

The article also notes that a separate investigation conducted in Germany that found that Namchongang also purchased products from Germany for use in nuclear facilities and exported them to North Korea via Syria.

Japanese police have apparently charged the president of the Japanese trading company with violating Japan's Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law by exporting eight items, including the pumps, without obtaining permission from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

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