Gov't Shipped Over W4 Billion Worth of Goods to Liaison Office

中央日報

The government shipped W4.3 billion worth of materials to North Korea between June and August to set up a cross-border liaison office, it emerged Thursday (US$1=W1,123).

Some 172 tons of goods worth W2 billion were shipped to the North in June and July and 166 tons of goods worth W2.3 billion in August, according to data on UN Security Council-sanctioned goods that Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Shim Jae-cheol obtained from the Korea Customs Service.

"The government has shipped steel, metal, machinery, electrical, and vehicular materials to the North," Shim said. "The U.S. State Department is reportedly poised to check whether the shipments violate sanctions even though Seoul is claiming that they were for the cross-border liaison office" in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.

Meanwhile, North Koreans who met their South Korean relatives in reunions in August were made by the regime to hand over any money they received as gifts, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

Sources said the regime held instant debriefings for the North Korean participants, which started with asking them to make a list of gifts they received from their South Korean relatives.

"At the end of each meeting, a participant would stand up and suggest that all the money received from relatives should be donated to thank the North Korean state for its help in facilitating the reunions," RFA reported. "Everyone else would then say yes or show their approval by applauding, and no one would dare to refuse."

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