North Korean bank supports pachinko parlors, WMDs


Yes, North Korea has a bank. It's easy to forget that even a tightly controlled economy needs to manage its currency, especially when so much of that currency comes from a variety of dubious sources.

Well, the Korea Kwangson Banking Corp. has landed in the sights of the U.S. Treasury Department, which has said it is going to freeze the bank's assets. The latest transgression involves providing "financial assistance" to companies that the U.S. government has noted as spreading weapons of mass destruction.

"North Korea's use of a little-known bank, KKBC, to mask the international financial business of sanctioned proliferators demonstrates the lengths to which the regime will go to continue its proliferation activities and the high risk that any business with North Korea may well be illicit," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.