Imagine warming up on a cold evening in Ulaanbaatar with some nutritious food on the 15th floor of the Daco Building, overlooking the skyline of Mongolia’s capital city. Sounds idyllic but there is an issue…. The restaurant is operated by the North Korean regime and is breaking sanctions by employing North Korean workers and directly funding Kim Jong Un’s nuclear and ballistic weapons program.

North Korea and the restaurant business

Pyongyang Papers has reported on DPRK activity in Mongolia & North Korean restaurants previously. North Korean restaurants around the world are believed to earn the regime about $700 million annually and are also used to launder money for the country, with many restaurants allegedly run by Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) agents. The RGB is the DPRKs primary intelligence agency and is responsible for a huge range of activity from obtaining foreign currency to running much of the country’s cyber capabilities.

UN resolutions forbid the employment of North Korean workers abroad and all North Korean workers were supposed to be repatriated back to DPRK by the end of December 2019. This deadline passed but North Korea has continued to send its citizens abroad, with greater numbers, in fresh batches as the country has relaxed its Covid-19 pandemic controls. Estimates suggest that up to 100,000 North Koreans worked overseas in 2023.


During the pandemic years, there were several reports of restaurants struggling and closing with limited custom due to pandemic restrictions and enforced sanctions. It appears that these issues may now have disappeared as the latest report, from the currently disbanded Panel of Experts, details dozens of restaurants operating across Asia in countries such as China, Russia & Laos. The report includes imagery taken from social media confirming the presence of North Korean nationals working at the restaurants.

The Pyongyang Baek Hwa Restaurant

One restaurant that isn’t covered in the Panel of Experts report is the Pyongyang Baek Hwa Restaurant in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. We have been informed that a delegation of DPRK restaurant workers are set to travel to Mongolia to work in the re-opened restaurant. The restaurant was confirmed closed during a visit in 2022 by DailyNK but is now back open. The restaurants Facebook page became active again during December 2023 and has been offering sim cards for use in South Korea! The phone number listed against these posts has also recently advertised for a chef and a dishwasher to be trained at a Korean restaurant.

The restaurant signage is still displayed on the Daco Building – Street view from 2023

As part of our investigations, we can confirm that the restaurant is still located at the same address as it previously was and we received no response to our offer of comment by the restaurant itself. Pyongyang Papers has not been able to confirm if the advertisements for staff at a Korean restaurant are directly related to the Pyongyang Baek Hwa restaurant but we continue to investigate North Korean activity in Mongolia and will publish any findings at a later date.

The Pyongyang Baek Hwa restaurant is not the only restaurant to re-open as North Korea continues to find ways to circumvent sanctions and earn much needed currency for the regime. In fact, some of the restaurants appear to be very busy and are clearly serving the regime well. If countries including China, Russia, Laos & Mongolia continue to facilitate the regimes actions so easily then the unfortunate North Korean citizens who are forced to work abroad will continue to be exploited treated like slaves.

If you have any information regarding the Pyongyang Baek Hwa Restaurant or any other sanctioned North Korean activity, please get in touch through the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Here at Pyongyang Papers, we have investigated multiple illicit oil trade deals so the following investigation will be no surprise to regular readers. The more strategic relationship between Moscow and Pyongyang has been powered by DPRK weapons sales to Russia, for use against Ukraine. South Korea estimate that North Korea has shipped 6700 containers of ammunition since September 2023. We do not believe the North Korean regime would do this without some form of payment and it appears that fuel and oil is likely part of Russia’s offer.

From previous deals of this nature, we know that the DPRK are proficient at using “middle men” to hide their trade deals but recent activity by Russia and North Korea appears to be more bold. After the recent Russian veto, the UN Panel of Experts is currently disbanded and the US have been quick to announce new sanctions will be imposed on Russia for transporting more than 165,000 barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea in March alone!

Reports of Russian oil heading to North Korea

The Russian supplies of oil to North Korea were first reported by the Financial Times and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in March and included satellite imagery of North Korean tankers docked in Russian ports. However, this is not the only oil deal between Russia and DPRK. Pyongyang Papers have been informed that a North Korean entity named Sinyang Corporation are working with a Russian representative on a deal to supply hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Russian diesel oil to North Korea. We believe that the first shipment was delivered in March.

Images of the North Korean tankers in Russian port, taken from Financial Times and RUSI investigation

Under UN sanctions imposed by the 1718 committee, countries are legally required to report sales of refined petroleum to the Security Council. However, with the committees Panel of Expert mandate now expired Russia and North Korea obviously believe trades of sanctioned cargo can be conducted directly with ease. We would be extremely surprised if Russia provides any honest reports of sales to the UN, even with the imagery above confirming North Korean activity at Russian ports!

Additional deals between the two countries

During our investigations, Pyongyang Papers also discovered another North Korean company looking to purchase diesel fuel from Russia. The Korea Sungnisan Trading Corporation was sanctioned back in 2022 for acting as a front company associated with the Ministry of Rocket Industry and continue to ignore sanctions imposed against them. The proposed deal involves using the already sanctioned Russian state transportation company, Sovcomflot, to deliver the diesel fuel into the North Korean port of Nampo. Sovcomflot were originally sanctioned in early 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and were sanctioned again in February of this year. Recent reports from the CEO, Igor Tonkovidov suggest that sanctions are impacting the companies ability to trade. This may go some way to explaining why they are so keen to help facilitate trade with North Korea, especially if they think the shipments can go unpunished!

Sanctions may be impacting Russian companies but with North Korea’s desire for oil and help, they are able to find it all to easy to continue conducting sanctioned and often dangerous activity. The recent Panel of Experts Report contains a letter from 55 member states detailing a breach in the yearly 500,000 barrel cap of oil exports to North Korea before the middle of 2023 including imagery. The letter recommended that the committee should inform all member states to immediately cease any supply of petroleum products to the DPRK for the remainder of 2023. Of course, the evidence was disputed by Russia and China who both failed to endorse the proposal and continue to hamper efforts to limit North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Please get in touch with us if you have any information on the companies or trades mentioned in this article. Pyongyang Papers appreciates any information that could help with future investigations and articles.

Soroade Bakery

Pyongyang Papers has continued to investigate Korea Chinson General Corporation and their activities in Africa. Our previous article investigated a contract between the Nigeria company Skynext Services Ltd and Chinson in an obvious violation of UN Security Council resolutions which ban all member states from employing DPRK workers. The aim of this ban is to try and limit the funds heading back to the regime, where it is used to advance the North Korea nuclear & ballistic weapons program.

More Chinson activity in Nigeria

Korea Chinson General Corporation continue to provide North Korean workers to companies in Nigeria. Pyongyang Papers have been informed that Chinson have been supplying workers to the Soroade Bakery & Confectionery Company. Soroade are based at New Auditorium Road, Boun Village, Mowe, Ogun State and lists Husaini G Dumbarambe as its Director. Social media posting from late 2022 appear to verify our claim and shows North Koreans associated with the bakery enjoying some free time.

Social media posting showing North Korean workers in Nigeria

Chinson active in other African countries

Nigeria is not the only country that the Korea Chinson General Corporation actively look to send North Korean workers to. Ethiopia also appears to be lucrative for the company as they continue to exploit DPRK citizens in order to maker money for the regime. Our sources have also informed us of a contract between the Chinson office in Ethiopia & the Ethiopian Construction Design and Supervision Works Corporation (ECDSWC). The contract was signed on 1 November 2022 and covers a two-year period for DPRK geophysicists, a Hydro-Mechanical engineer and a team leader/civil engineer. ECDSWC are an engineering company that was created by merging three companies together with the “commitment to the creation of knowledge base and provision of excelling & sustainable engineering solutions to the challenges of our people throughout Africa.”

In October 2016 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia announced that ECDSWC and the Korea Rural Corporation (KRC) from South Korea had signed a memorandum of understanding encouraging both sides to secure projects in which both are mutually interested. Pyongyang Papers is certain that the memorandum does not include hiring North Korean workers! Pyongyang Papers contacted the Ethiopian Construction Design and Supervision Works Corporation about the contract but they did not reply.

Add the contract to the claims in the latest UN Panel of Experts report that an official from Chinson and an official from the DPRK embassy in Nigeria traveled to the Niger to collect hundreds of thousands of US dollars in cash, and bought the funds back to Nigeria. It becomes very clear that North Korea continues to find ways to circumvent sanctions and fund its nuclear & ballistic weapons program as ordinary citizens continue to suffer. Nigeria and Ethiopia are both UN member states and need to prove that they enforce the sanctions they are committed to.

As always, if you have any information North Korean sanctions evasion or Chinson, please get in touch through the ‘Contact Us’ page.

North Korean business deals with countries on the African continent is well documented and extensive. Pyongyang Papers has conducted several investigations looking at sanctions breaking in the region and this time we aim to shine a light on one country in particular – Nigeria

Nigeria relations

“Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” – Nigeria’s national motto. Unfortunately, North Korea does not share any aspects of this motto and would rather disorder, betrayal, conflict and decline. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and formally established diplomatic relations with North Korea in 1976. In 2014, the two countries signed an economic cooperation agreement in the areas of knowledge exchange, information technology and public sector exchanges of modern technology. Both Nigeria and the DPRK maintain embassies in each other’s countries and as recently as 2022, the UN panel of experts were investigating information that suggested Nigeria were planning on purchasing $3.5 million worth of military equipment with the deal being brokered by the Haegumgang Trading Corporation. A weapons-trading entity belonging to the DPRK Ministry of People’s Armed Forces.

Current activity

Given Nigeria’s warm relationship with North Korea, it should come as no surprise that the DPRK regime continue to use the country as a means to generate revenue for their nuclear and ballistic weapons program.

One company that seems to feature quite heavily in Nigeria is Korea Chinson General Cooperation, who have been investigated in Nigeria previously. Pyongyang Papers have been made aware that UN sanctioned DPRK workers are working within blanket factories, tire factories, plastic bag factories and also a security company.

To add to this, our sources have also passed us a copy of a contract regarding a three year deal with a Lagos based company called Skynext Service Ltd to aid the construction and running of the Lagos rubber factory. The deal involves Chinson providing Skynext with a range of North Korean laborers including:

• Two structural design engineers
• Two interpreters
• Thirteen skills constructors
• Two heavy vehicle mechanics
• Twenty one rubber factory machinists

The contract is valid for three years and states it will be automatically renewed at the end of each three year period. We are still working to confirm the presence of the DPRK workers for Skynext as the contract also states “The parties further agreed to implement the contract … at a time when the global pandemic of COVID-19 has been resolved and the dispatch of experts from Chinson is possible. But will be valid until July 2023 at latest.” The contract was signed and dated by Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Musaddiq (representing Skynext) and Mr KO Yong Myong (representing Chinson) on 18th August 2022.

The contract lists the address for Skynext as 3 Avenue, Festac but our investigation suggests they may now be located at Commercial Road, Apapa in Lagos. Information regarding the company’s type of activity is limited but the contract and import information available online suggest they are in the manufacturing business. Pyongyang Papers reached out to Skynext directly for comment about their sanctioned activity but received no reply.

The future

With the North Korean borders beginning to open up it is highly likely that North Korean workers will begin moving around the globe again as DPRK companies look to fulfill contracts drafted during the pandemic, evade sanctions and raise funds to enable the regime to continue developing nuclear weapons. The contract between Skynext and Chinson proves that even when the North Korean border is sealed shut and ordinary citizens are believed to be starving, Kim Jong Un and the regime are still content to exploit ordinary DPRK citizens for their own despicable gains.

Pyongyang Papers aims to expose any sanctioned North Korean activity and relies on its sources. If you have any information in relation to this article or any other DPRK activity please get in touch through the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Pyongyang Papers has continued its recent investigations into the illicit money-making schemes of North Korean individual Nam Un Gyong and her daughter, Ri Son Chong. As previously reported, Nam owned and ran a restaurant called the Blue Flower in Cambodia, this is a blatant violation of UN sanctions which prohibits DPRK individuals working abroad. The money earned from DPRK nationals abroad such as Nam and her daughter, is sent back to the DPRK regime and continues to fund its nuclear weapons program.

The Cambodian government ordered the Blue Flower to close and so we have been keen to see what Nam and Ri have been doing since the closure of the restaurant.

Ri Son Chong was studied business administration at a University in Cambodia, but we know she is also involved in the illicit endeavors of her mother and some of her own. Ri Son Chong helped both in the kitchen and on the cashier desk at the Blue Flower until its closure, whilst also facilitating the production and sale of kimchi to restaurants in the local area of Phnom Penh. We contacted the Blue Flower Facebook page after releasing the last article for comment and the page name and display photo was swiftly changed…

Nam & Ri movements

Pyongyang Papers believes that Nam, and her daughter Ri Son Chong traveled from Phnom Penh to Beijing in the middle of January and Nam’s plan is to head to Shenyang, then Dandong and then back to Beijing before finally traveling back to the DPRK! In our last investigation we noted how Nam had parted ways with her former business partner and was looking for a new partner to open a joint venture restaurant in China. With Nam planning to head back to the DPRK we are unsure where this leaves the plan for the joint venture restaurant in China. Maybe Nam has passed the plan onto another DPRK national in China. If you have any information on the status on the joint venture please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ page.

During our investigations, we have also uncovered that Nam Un Gyong also has another daughter – Ri Son Hwa. Ri Son Hwa attended a foreign university and currently works as a trading employee at the Rakwon Guidance Bureau. The Rakwon Guidance Bureau is believed to sit under ‘Room 39’, a secretive party organization which seeks to maintain foreign currency for the North Korean leaders.

It is well documented that ‘Room/Bureau 39’ is a secretive North Korean party organization that seeks ways to maintain the foreign currency slush fund for the country’s leaders

Luxury Goods

Investigations by Pyongyang Papers have also uncovered additional details about Nam Un Gyong and Ri Son Chong activities. It appears the duo were also involved in the luxury goods trade. We are aware of a deal involving both Ri Son Chong and Nam with a Thailand-based DPRK Korea Chilsongmun Trading Corporation (CTC) employee. Ri Son Chong and Nam have spent hundreds of thousands of $’s on alcohol, buying and exporting it from Cambodia to DPRK. Importing and exporting luxury goods to and from North Korea also contravenes UN sanctions, however it is widely known that Kim Jong Un is partial to unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking. We wonder whether Ri Son Chong and Nam’s shipment is headed straight for their leader? Nam and Ri Son Chong also worked with individuals Heng Sovannary and Srey Pov, based in Cambodia, to export more alcohol to DPRK.

The purchasing of luxury goods isn’t limited to just alcohol as we believe that Ri Son Chong has been buying Tommy Hilfiger purses as gifts for friends on her return to the DPRK. We also know Ri Son Chong was looking into other high-end brands such as Bottega Veneta.

Moving Money

It is clear that both Nam and her daughters have the connections and know how to set up these trade deals but we have been questioning how Nam has managed to earn currency overseas as a North Korean citizen without raising suspicion from the banking authorities. Our investigations have uncovered that a Cambodian individual that worked for Nam at her restaurant allowed her to use their bank account to receive large amounts of money. This is a tried and tested method for North Koreans who are earning illicitly abroad.

We are glad to hear that the Cambodian authorities are enforcing sanctions, we hope that China will follow suit and end Nam and her daughters sanction evasion activity. However, based on some of our previous investigations- we aren’t that confident!

Pyongyang Papers will continue to investigate Nam’s sanction breaking activity- if you are aware of any information then please contact us.

Pyongyang Papers has been investigating more North Korean sanctions breaking activity aimed at making money in Africa. According to the UN security Council, North Korea is estimated to run annual deficit of between $500million and $1billion. This is the amount of hard currency that North Korea needs to earn abroad each year to fund the regime and its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Each year North Korea generates an estimated $100 million of this in Africa.

You can read our previous investigations revealing the Republic of Congo, Ghana and Nigeria’s involvement in UN sanction breaking. Our current investigation focuses on another African country – Zambia. As of March 2023, Multiple North Korean workers are continuing to work in a number of companies and disciplines within Zambia.

This contravenes UN Security Council Resolution 2270 which requires direct member states to expel all foreign nationals (including DPRK citizens) who are determined to be working on behalf of a designated entity or otherwise assisting in sanctions evasion, and also resolutions 2375 & 2397 which prohibits member states from providing work authorizations for DPRK nationals in their jurisdiction in connection with admission to their territories and included repatriation of DPRK nationals by December 2019.

Korea General Corporation for External Construction (KOGEN)

One of the companies using North Korean laborers in Zambia is the Korea General Corporation for External Construction (KOGEN) or (GENCO). KOGEN is advertised on Naenara, the official DPRK web portal, as a professional overseas construction company, sending skilled workers and highlighting completed projects in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Russia, Libya and Mongolia. It has also created local branches, such as Zambia. They also known to use the names Chammae Construction Ltd and Gold Pick Construction Ltd. The business listing for Gold Pick Construction Ltd even states that the “main engineering team is from Korea”.

A promotional poster from a Gold Pick Construction Ltd business listing

KOGEN is a well-known entity to the United Nations Panel of Experts. Whilst investigating banks created to support investment or trade with North Korea, the UN uncovered a Malaysian company – Malaysia Korea Partners (MKP). KOGEN is only one of 13 MKP linked companies in Zambia. Using North Korean laborers who were paid pittance, MKP earned hard currency through construction projects, mining, trade in contraband coal and provision of security services. KOGEN, the North Korean entity for which MKP was acting as a front company, offered its services in Equatorial Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire- and Nigeria as well.

Further investigation by the UN revealed that KOGEN’s activities were not limited to Africa. Evidence emerged of a joint venture in the UAE and of significant activity in Russia. From information provided by Zambia and further investigations by the Panel it has been concluded that KOGEN, like MKP, has links to Mansudae Overseas Project Group. Pyongyang Papers have previously investigated Mansudae Overseas Project Group for their involvement in construction projects across Africa.

Moksong Construction Company

Another company we have been informed is operating with North Korean workers in Zambia is Moksong Construction Company, which we believe to be the same entity as the company operating under the name Moksong Overseas Construction & Economic Technology Cooperation Company. In May, NK News released an article detailing Moksong Overseas Construction involvement in construction of a library in Lusaka, Zambia. According to the North Korean commerce website Manmulsang, Moksong has “agencies in several European and African countries to ensure prompt, satisfactory and comprehensive cooperation in the architectural technology on order.”

A copy of the Moksong listing from the Manmulsang website

Pyongyang papers are also aware of another three DPRK entities working in Zambia. These are: Medical Cooperation Delegation, Ecological Environment Technology Cooperation Delegation and DPRK Economic & Commercial Representative Office in Zambia. Our investigation into these companies is still ongoing- please contact us if you have any additional information of the companies listed.

Zambia has been a member of the United Nations since 1964 and have evidently assisted the UN Panel of Experts previously in their investigations into North Korean sanction breaking activity taking place within its borders. Unfortunately it clearly isn’t doing enough to uncover and disrupt the North Korean laborers that still reside and earn money for the DPRK regime. Zambia and other African countries need to seriously address sanctions evasion and attempt to stop the flow of funds back to North Korea. Funds that are being used by Kim Jong Un to develop, test and build weapons that can only ensure more instability in the region.

Pyongyang Papers recently reported on a restaurant called the Blue Flower located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and is run by two North Koreans: Nam Un Gyong and her daughter Ri Son Chong. By running the restaurant Nam and Ri are violating UN Security Council resolution 2397, which prohibits North Korean citizens from working abroad. It is also widely known that the money made by North Korean’s abroad makes its way back to the Kim Jong Un regime and funds North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, one of many sources of contention between the rest of the world and North Korea.

Blue Flower restaurant employees escape police

In our last article we reported how Cambodian authorities had given orders for The Blue Flower restaurant to be closed down. It appears Nam did not listen to the warning, as in a dramatic turn of events, we have been informed that she had to secretly escape from the Blue Flower and that the DPRK staff narrowly avoided capture by the Cambodian authorities due to the constant police presence at the restaurant. Our sources tell us these North Korean employees have now left Cambodia.

Investigations have confirmed that the Blue Flower restaurant is now officially closed and the premises where the restaurant was located apparently trashed. As mentioned previously, the restaurant employed Cambodian nationals due to DPRK border closure. We understand that the Cambodian nationals have all been fired and reportedly left the area. The restaurant may have closed but this does not mean the money-making activities by Nam & Ri have stopped!

North Korean Restaurants in China

With the closure of the Blue Flower. Nam has parted ways with her former business partner, an individual named Pan Yong and is already looking for a new business partner to help her open a joint venture restaurant in China! Since the beginning of this year, despite sanctions being in place, it is reported that at least 10 restaurants and hotels staffed by Koreans have popped up in three Chinese cities. Now that the DPRK borders are slowly re-opening, we believe that many thousands of North Korean workers are returning home from China under a week-long quarantine after arriving in a number of locations, including Rason, Sinuiju and Sunan. The re-opening of the border has also included freight trains making the journey between the two countries again, with one specifically arriving in Sinuiju and returning back to Dandong 45 minutes later.

A view of the sino-Korean friendship bridge

Could this mean more DPRK workers are preparing to move to China to replace the returning workers? or is China finally observing UN Sanctions? Only time will tell but Pyongyang Papers has suspicion it won’t be China observing UN sanctions! Historically, the two sides of the border have agreed to work together to prevent illegal crossings between the Yalu River and Tumen River, with both countries providing their own guards and agreements around times people were able to make the crossing. China also forcibly returned over 500 North Koreans who had escaped to China back over the border.

Illegal workers bringing home souvenirs

It is also likely that the returning DPRK workers, who were sent abroad to work and earn for the regime, will bring a number of sanctioned items home with them, such as money and luxury goods. It appears the Blue Flower had a number of elaborate, expensive looking paintings throughout the restaurant and stocked a large amount of high-end alcohol. Pyongyang Papers wonders if the returning workers and return of freight movement will see an influx of other sanctioned items into North Korea.

One of the paintings from the Blue Flower restaurant

Pyongyang Papers will continue to investigate Nam & Ri as they look to continue their efforts in China to earn sanctioned revenue for the North Korean regime but it is clear that China has a major role to play in enforcing UN sanctions aimed at stopping funds reaching the DPRK and being used to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile program. This is especially relevant given the recent launch of North Korea’s first ‘spy’ satellite using ballistic missile technology.

If you have any further information on Nam Un Gyong, her daughter Ri Son Chong or any other North Korean sanctions evasion, please get in touch through the ‘Contact us’ page.

Despite UNSCR 2397 which prohibits North Korean citizens from working abroad, it is widely known that there is an extensive North Korean restaurant network continuing to fund the regime and its weapons program. With an estimated 130 North Korean state-run restaurants in big cities across the globe, Pyongyang Papers has already investigated several restaurants such as The Pyongyang Unhasu restaurant located in Phnom Penh, Big Sister Won’s restaurant located in Vientiane, along with a collection of restaurants in China.

Blue Flower Restaurant

NK News recently reported on the demise of the DPRK Restaurant industry in Cambodia. However, they name one business still operating who are downplaying any ties to the DPRK- the Blue Flower Restaurant and shop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Pyongyang Papers can confirm that the Blue Flower Restaurant and shop is in fact owned and run by two North Koreans, Nam Un Gyong and her daughter Ri Son Chong.

The Blue Flower Restaurant and shop, as advertised on social media.

Restaurant workers

COVID-19 and the DPRK border closures halted the arrival of DPRK staff working at Blue Flower, and so Nam has had to hire some non-North Korean staff instead. It is well reported that North Korean workers abroad are subjected to poor living conditions, forced to give up their salaries and strictly controlled by their handlers. We wonder if these non-North Koreans treated as badly? Considering the state of most North Korean restaurants overseas, we can’t imagine that working at Blue Flower is much fun for these employees and we would encourage any worker or anyone who knows the workers to make contact with us to tell their side of the story.

The sanctions placed on DPRK have had a heavy toll on the North Korean economy, however due to non-compliance from several countries, North Korea still manage to illicitly source funding from overseas work. Although Cambodia has been a member state since 1955, the UN PoE have investigated North Koreans within their borders past the repatriation cut off in 2019. However in positive news, it now seems that the Cambodian authorities have requested that, due to UN Sanctions, Nam close the restaurant … we will of course keep a close eye on this to see if she complies!

Nam’s next venture

So what next for Nam and her daughter, will they return to the DPRK or remain in Cambodia and look to open another restaurant or other enterprises to earn revenue for the DPRK Regime? From our research, it appears Nam started a side business that sells fashion, sourced from Hong Kong. So even if the restaurant does appear closed, has she continued her side business too?! If anyone can get in contact with us at Pyongyang Papers about this shop, possibly located by the old Restaurant, we would be very interested in hearing from you.

Pyongyang Papers will continue looking in to the North Korean Restaurant industry and would like to uncover more truths around how they operate overseas. Any information you can share, please do get in contact.

The DPRK are well known for their dishonest, provocative and non-conforming nature. So its comes as no surprise that when Russia invaded Ukraine, a decision condemned by the world, Kim Jong Un publicly declared his support for Moscow.

Pyongyang Papers have been made aware of another sanctioned DPRK labor deal involving construction workers in Russia. This is not the first time we have investigated a deal of this nature – you can read our previous article here.

Perhaps surprisingly, Russia and North Korea have never had significant relationship. The DPRK is economically dependent on China, which currently accounts for over 90 percent of its total trade volume as well as most food and energy imports. Despite this economic dependence there is reportedly deep distrust between the two nations. China’s attempts to assert dominance over North Korea along with the North Korean regimes efforts to guard against Chinese influence have long generated tension between the two countries. Russia’s stance has always been to follow China’s lead, supporting the DPRK when they do, not supporting them when they don’t.

Pyongyang & Moscow

However, Russia needs help in the form of weapons. The EU have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia in response to the war of aggression against Ukraine. These sanctions include visa measures, individual sanctions and economic sanctions including huge restrictions on the imports and exports between the EU and Russia. Which is why Russia is seeking an allegiance with the DPRK. The DPRK welcome this allegiance with open arms as it provides many benefits. Not only will a weapons deal with Russia help boost the ever flailing economy … it will also further antagonize the fraught tensions with the western world. A great result for Kim Jong Un!

In August 2023, Kim made the promise in a letter to Vladimir Putin that relations will be ‘further developed into a long standing strategic relationship’. He also went on to state the two countries are ‘fully demonstrating their invincibility and might in their struggle against imperialists’. This letter was followed by the recent summit held in Russia and was attended by Kim. Washington have warned Pyongyang against sending weapons to Russia, as this would violate UN sanctions that prevent arms shipments to and from North Korea – but breaking sanctions comes naturally to North Korea as we have seen on countless previous occasions.

Construction workers to Russia?

Our current investigation involves the DPRK Korea Sungri Chonji Trading Corporation and the Russia based KSK-Stroy Limited Liability Company (ООО КСК СТРОЙ) for the supply of 200 North Korean construction workers to Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, Russia.

KSK-Stroy is a construction company that appears to have addresses all over Russia, with each location specializing in different construction types. The Khabarovsk KSK-Stroy’s activity appears to be mainly based on the construction of roads and highways and the Vladivostok company’s activity is engineering communications for water, sanitation and gas supply.

North Korean construction workers

Our sources have also found that the Russia firm ANO Digital Platform solicited a substantial number of North Korean laborers for construction projects in Moscow. Arseniy Shcheltsin is the CEO of ANO Digital Platform and this is not the first time he has been involved in something suspicious having previously been at the center of a scandal involving internet campaigning for the party in power. Pyongyang Papers wonders what use Shcheltsin could have for construction workers with his digital background?

Pyongyang Papers knows that nothing good can come from an alliance between two power hungry dictators such as Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin who prioritize their own political desires over the needs of their imprisoned citizens. We must unite to rid the world of their intolerable reign. Please contact Pyongyang Papers if you have any additional information on the companies listed in this article.

North Korean officials based overseas continue to break UN sanctions by brokering and facilitating deals, earning commision, so they can funnel money back to the regime and fund its nuclear weapons programme. UN Resolution 2270 states that all memeber states are to prohibit DPRK diplomats, government representatives (or DPRK nationals working in that capacity) from participating in joint ventures and any other business arrangements.

However, brokering deals is not a new money making scheme for the North Koreans- Pyongyang Papers have previously reported on illict deals facilitated by North Korean officials which you can read here. This time we are investigating a deal involving the brokering of oil between Russia and China.


DPRK acting as the middleman between two countries

Our sources have informed us that DPRK representatives based in Russia, are acting as middlemen to broker a deal for PRC-based company Yao He San Cai Petrifaction Limited for the purchase of Russian diesel fuel from Russian-based LLC RN-Komsomolsky Oil Refinery (RN-KNPZ). The deal is agreed for an initial time of 12 months with extensions. RN-KNPZ is located in Komsomolsk-On-Amur, Khabarovsk territory, which is near to the China-Russia border. Specializing in motor fuel and aviation kerosene, the plant was put into operation in 1942 under the integrated structure of Rosneft Oil Company and its crude distillation refinery capacity equals 46.9 million barrels per year.

LLC RN-Komsomolsk Refinery is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Samara region of Russia and the second largest Rosneft production unit after Yuganskneftegaz.


The North Koreans aren’t the only ones suffering the consequences of sanctions, LLC RN-Komsomolsky Oil Refinery has also been sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control amidst the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

Oil Imports


Chinese imports of Russian oil hit their highest level in May since the Ukraine invasion started in 2022. This could be down to the sanctions put on Russia and their import of oil is forcing them to sell for cheaper, or the fact that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin pledged to boost trade to $200 billion in 2023 when they hailed their no limits partnership. As previously reported by Pyongyang Papers, we all know that China doesn’t shy away from sanction breaking activities. The PRC based company, also known as Yaohe Sancai Petrochemical (Shandong) Co. Ltd, has the address of Room 202, office building No. 819, Tuanjie Road, Qingdao area, China (Shandong) and appears to own a gas station on Yucai Road, Linyi City. With no obvious presence online, this company has a capital of $586 million and its president, Chen Dan, is linked to 7 other companies! We wonder if any of these other companies are breaking sanctions too?


Why use these middle men?

North Korean intermediaries, or middle men, have played a key role in the facilitation of oil deals between Russia and China to provide a bridge between the finances. DPRK representatives are busier than ever and with Russian oil being cheaper, it helps to compensate using them – so a win for all of those involved. Although the North Korean intermediaries would probably be losing all their income to the Regime back in their homeland funding the WMD programme! Using these middle men also means that these deals can go under the radar as there wouldn’t be any direct communication between them. Making it easier to get away with!
If you know any more about this deal or the companies involved, please do get in contact with Pyongyang Papers. We are always very appreciative of any information our followers can provide us.