Hong Kong financial authorities are inspecting all banks in the territory to find out if North Korea's Taepung International Investment Group has opened secret accounts there. Taepung has the unenviable task of attracting foreign investment to the North.
According to information obtained by the Chosun Ilbo, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in late July asked banks to report no later than Aug. 3, if they had engaged in "any kind of transactions" with four companies over the past six years.
The four are Taepung International Investment Hong Kong, Taepung International Investment Holdings Virgin Islands, Taepung International Investment Group, and Taifung (Taepung's Chinese pronunciation) International Investment Group.
This was the first time Taepung has been targeted for financial sanctions by a third country.
A source in Hong Kong said it seems authorities have asked all Hong Kong branches of about 190 banks from the U.S., Europe and Asia for data about the four Taepung affiliates and two Iranian firms.
Taepung Hong Kong is believed to be a paper company. In April it registered at Rm.# 2508, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Hong Kong, but the only office at the address is a local law firm.