U.S. Pursues Chinese Firm for Aiding N.Korea's Nuke Program

  • By Yoon Jung-ho

    September 21, 2016 10:49

    /Yonhap

    U.S. and Chinese officials are going after a mid-sized Chinese company suspected of helping North Korea develop nuclear weapons, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

    The paper said Hongxiang Industrial Development Co. is "headed by a Communist Party member who the Obama administration believes has played a role in aiding North Korea's nuclear program."

    Chinese police in Liaoning Province believe Hongxiang committed "serious economic crimes" by trading with North Korea for several years.

    A source in Dandong, China told Radio Free Asia that affiliates of Honxiang are also under investigation for tax evasion, money laundering and dealing in counterfeit dollars and illicit drugs.

    Chinese authorities have frozen some of the assets of the company, its founder Ma Xiaohong, her family and business partners.

    U.S. Justice Department officials visited Beijing twice to deliver evidence linking Ma and her business with North Korea's nuclear weapons program and help to the North in evading international sanctions.

    The Asan Institute for Policy Studies and U.S. think tank C4ADS in a report on Monday said Hongxiang supplied North Korea with high-grade aluminum ingots, ammonium paratungstate, aluminum oxide and tungsten trioxide, which are key ingredients in developing centrifuges for uranium enrichment and weapons of mass destruction.

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