TOKYO, Sept. 2 (UPI) — A North Korean trade representative in Shanghai was deported after assaulting local police last fall, according to a Japanese press report.
The Pyongyang diplomat, who was in charge of earning foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime, managed funds for Korea Daesong General Trading Corp., the Tokyo Shimbun reported on Friday.
Office 39, the confidential branch of the regime that engages in illicit economic activities and manages slush funds of the Korean Workers’ Party, owns Daesong, according to the U.S. Treasury.
The North Korean national, who remains unidentified, was a man in his 50s related to North Korean party officials.
The incident occurred in 2015, when the intoxicated diplomat became involved in an altercation with a Shanghai taxi driver regarding payment.
When police arrived on the scene, the North Korean trade representative allegedly kicked the officers.
The man was arrested and jailed but was later released on bail, according to the report.
The North Korean government paid the $3,000 penalty in August after a first trial at a Chinese court, and the diplomat has since returned to North Korea.
The source who spoke to the Tokyo Shimbun on the condition of anonymity said the man is not likely to face serious punishment in Pyongyang because he is well connected to the party.
North Korea is under heavy sanctions and diplomats are at the forefront of earning money from various businesses.
On Friday, Pyongyang condemned the most recent round of sanctions that passed unanimously at the United Nations Security Council on March 2.
In an interview with propaganda outlet DPRK Today, North Korean officials of the cabinet secretariat and Institute of Economy at the Academy of Social Science said the sanctions were “barbaric” and an attempt to “crush” the country.
North Korea also claimed that its enemies, including the United States, have only raised the “might” and will of North Korea a “thousand-fold,” according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.