Nord-Korea og ambassadesmugling

mai 10, 2013

“In late October 1976, the Norwegian police caught North Korean diplomats selling 4,000 bottles of smuggled liquor and a large quantity of smuggled cigarettes. In those days, the Scandinavian governments imposed exorbitant taxes on alcohol, which made the importation of tax-free liquor an extremely profitable business. Pyongyang officials transported large quantities of tax-free liquor and cigarettes inside diplomatic luggage. It was estimated that the DPRK Embassy in Norway sold liquor and cigarettes with a black market value of some one million dollars (in 2011 prices, this would be at least three times that amount).

After the incident involving Norway and Denmark, the same network was discovered in two other Nordic countries–Finland and Sweden. The scale of operations in Sweden was probably the largest, and the affair was widely discussed in the local press. One night, mischievous Swedish students put a sign reading “Wine and Spirits Co-op” on the entrance of the DPRK Embassy–to the great annoyance of its inhabitants.

[…] In May 1976 the Egyptian customs officials discovered the presence of hashish in luggage belonging to a group of North Korean diplomats–the first in the long chain of incidents of this type. The North Korean operatives even drew knives, but were overpowered by the Egyptian officers. Their diplomatic passports ended up saving them from prosecution. A similar incident then occurred in, of all places, Norway. In October 1976 the North Korean diplomats were caught handling a large amount of hashish to local drug dealers.

It is often speculated that these smuggling operations were related to the new attitude toward the North Korean missions overseas: once the economic slowdown made its mark in the mid-1970s, the missions had to follow the self-reliance principle. In effect, North Korean embassy officials now had to pay for their own expenses from the funds its staff somehow earned”


(Fra Andrei Lankov, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia, 20-21 (Kindle-utgave).)


Norge og Nord-Korea etablerte diplomatiske forbindelser i 1973 (22. juni). Den nord-koreanske ambassaden ble ifølge SNL nedlagt i 1992, av økonomiske grunner. For Sveriges del (Nord-Korea har fortsatt ambassade der) har det vært et vedvarende problem. Som så ofte når det gjelder Nord-Korea er det en hårfin grense mellom det morsomme og det triste …


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