Hishamuddin: Do the cops know about N Korean spies here?
How could North Korea, a nation sanctioned by the UN, operate a business selling battlefield radio equipment without being detected by the police here?
KUALA LUMPUR: It is baffling that North Korea could sell military grade battlefield radio equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions without being detected by Malaysian police, said longtime Umno critic Hishamuddin Rais.
The activist told Berita Daily today that it is impossible that the police especially the Special Branch had no idea about the company run by North Korean intelligence agents.
He questioned Umno’s relationship with North Korea after it was reported that the company’s early partner in Malaysia was Mustapha Ya’akub, a former secretary-general of the Malay-based party.
“How can North Korea, a country which is sanctioned by the United Nations, have a business company operating in Malaysia? It is not just a normal company; it was a company that sold military grade radio which violates UN sanctions.
“Their intelligence agents had a company and their business partner was a prominent Umno man. How could the police have no idea about North Korea’s agents running a business here together with the government?” he asked.
A recent Reuters report disclosed that in Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Little India” neighbourhood, a military equipment company called Glocom has its office.
Reuters said that Glocom is a front company run by North Korean intelligence agents and that it sells battlefield radio equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a UN report drafted for the Security Council.
Reuters found that Glocom advertises over 30 radio systems for ‘military and paramilitary’ organisations on its Malaysian website, glocom.com.my.
Asked if he believed that Kuala Lumpur is a centre for intelligence agents, Hishamuddin said that it should not be a surprise as there are many spy agents in the country already.
“It is normal; KL is not just a place for North Korean agents but also for the CIA, KCIA – South Korea intelligence unit – and even Mossad from Israel.
“It is not about carrying out operation to kill someone; they gather as much information as they can or sometimes to spy on certain people that they have been tasked to spy on to. They don’t necessarily have the James Bond look; they can be like any ordinary people,” he added.
Asked on the murder of Kim Jong Nam, Hishamuddin, better known as Tukar Tiub, said that it could be due to the internal dispute between president Kim Jong Un and Jong Nam, his estranged half-brother.
“It could be due to internal dispute between the two half-brothers. Internal crisis in North Korea. As for now, we can only speculate about the motive,” he said.
A North Korean travelling on a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol was murdered by two women who wiped his face with a liquid at KLIA2 on Feb 13. The deceased has been widely reported to be Jong Nam although he has yet to be formally identified.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Mustapha had admitted to be Glocom’s business partner “many years back”.
He reportedly said the business was controlled by several North Koreans, including Kim Chang-hyok, whom he said he knew. He did not disclose his role in the company, and denied any knowledge of Glocom’s current business.
“We thought at the time it might be a good idea to go into business together,” Mustapha told Reuters about his first meeting with his North Korean business contacts.
He did not say who those contacts were or what they discussed.