North Korea sought payment through a bank in Malaysia for its suspected shipment of weapons to Myanmar that is being carried on a freighter tracked by the U.S. Navy, a source said Saturday, according to Yonhap News.
The visit by a U.S. envoy to Malaysia this weekend will focus on ways to cut off the payment transaction for the cargo from the bank in Malaysia to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the source said.
“Kim will have a hard time collecting his money,” the high-level source said, speaking strictly on condition of anonymity. The source declined to identify the bank due to diplomatic concerns.
Philip Goldberg, the U.S. coordinator for the implementation of a U.N. Security Council resolution that punishes North Korea for its May 25 nuclear test, is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia on Sunday.
The visit comes after the White House said late last month that U.S. President Barack Obama discussed North Korea and financial regulations with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razakon by phone.
It also comes as North Korea’s Kang Nam freighter is apparently returning home after being tracked by a U.S. Navy destroyer that suspects it is carrying cargo banned under the resolution.
Resolution 1874, which reinforced sanctions that were imposed after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, bans Pyongyang from exporting any type of weapons — light or heavy.
According to another source in Seoul, the Kang Nam is believed to be carrying small Soviet-era arms such as AK-47 rifles and RPG-7 anti-tank launchers.
AK-47s and RPG-7s are two of the most widely traded Soviet-era weapon types that North Korea is capable of producing on its own.
“Kim appears to have received earnest money for the shipment, but it is a small sum compared to the payment held up in Malaysia,” the source said.