INSIDE MAN

Kim Jong Un’s Ex-Moneyman: Sanctions Never Stopped Me From Getting Cash Into North Korea

A top North Korean moneyman who defected three years ago says the Hermit Kingdom has been easily evading U.S. and international sanctions for years and had no trouble finding ways to reroute millions of dollars through China. Before defecting in 2014 and later moving to Virginia, Ri Jong Ho was a top money maker for three decades for the Kim regime’s secretive Office 39 Worker’s Party financial operation. He said he sent millions of dollars a year to Pyongyang by giving cash to a ship captains sailing to North Korea from China, where he was based, or by giving it to someone to take on a train across the border. “My partners in China also want to make a profit, so they don’t care much about sanctions,” Ri told The Washington Post. “When the Chinese government orders them to stop, they stop for a few days and then start up again.” Ri, who fled after his powerful uncle was executed by the Kim regime, said Beijing prioritizes North Korean stability foremost. “Unless China, Russia and the United States cooperate fully to sanction North Korea, it will be impossible to hurt them.”