08/22/19

CBP Long Beach Chinese Weapons Seizure

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Three separate shipments full of parts were intercepted in recent weeks, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the matter, and were packed in their own cargo containers on three separate ships that were also carrying household items, apparel, toys, industrial machinery, and other imports.

With a Domestic Value of over $378,000 the seized items were found in violation of the Chinese Arms Embargo

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport in coordination with the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), intercepted and seized 52,601 firearms parts in violation of the Chinese Arms Embargo. The seized items described as sights, stocks, muzzles, brakes, buffer kits, and grips which arrived in three shipments from China, had a combined domestic value of $378,225.00.

CBP officers referred the items to ATF investigators, who confirmed that the firearm parts were in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 27 CFR 447.52.

“This seizure is an exceptional example of CBP officers and import specialists vigilance, commitment and keen focus in enforcing complex arms embargo regulations,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “The Chinese Arms Embargo is just one of the hundreds of regulations CBP enforces, ensuring the safety and security of our country.”

Federal regulations impose importation restrictions to certain countries to which the United States maintains an arms embargo, and one of such countries is China.

“We work closely with our strategic partners to ensure import compliance while maintaining the highest standards of security at our nation’s largest seaport,” remarked LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Port Director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport. “This interception underscores the successful collaboration between CBP officers, import specialists, and ATF investigators.” In fiscal year (FY) 2018, Office of Field Operations (OFO) seized 266,279 firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, fireworks and explosives at 328 ports of entry throughout the United States. These interceptions represent an increase of 18.4 percent from the previous year.

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08/22/19

About Those North Korean Miniature Warheads

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: North Korea could now have as many as 60 nuclear warheads in its inventory. The new number is more than double the maximum estimate of 20 to 25 weapons by Siegfried Hecker, former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and now a professor at Stanford University. Hecker was the last American scientist to visit North Korea’s nuclear weapons complex, in late 2010. Most estimates of the size of the North’s inventory have been far more conservative, generally in the range of 12 to 15 to 20.

Image result for north korea nuclear warheads

Japan defense white paper to concede North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads, report says

Reuters, Kyodo

TOKYO/BEIJING – Japan has upgraded its estimate of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability in an upcoming annual defense white paper, saying it seems Pyongyang has already achieved the miniaturization of warheads, the Yomiuri newspaper said in an unsourced report Wednesday.

That compares with the assessment in last year’s report in which the government said it was possible North Korea had achieved miniaturization, the daily said without citing sources.

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08/20/19

Historical Look at Afghanistan, US in or Out?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

As we hear the talks with the Taliban have concluded with the United States, we have no idea just yet whether the United States will keep troops in the country in an unknown quantity. Could it be that the Taliban have truly defeated coalition nations in Afghanistan… that victory for the Taliban is real?

What could happen next if the Taliban shares the rule of the nation? More Taliban, more al Qaeda, more ISIS? Or could there be another Russian invasion? How about other major conflicts in the future that include the Tajiks, the Uzbeks or maybe the Hazaras? Or China?

In particular, the analysis cites a local media report claiming that local militias of former Tajik Mujahedeen have started to remobilizing alongside the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province because of an uptick in threats against the province from the Taliban. The media report, published by TOLO News, claims the area has “changed to a hub for insurgents’ activities over the past few weeks.”

Afghanistan - Comintern (SH) - for a communist Afhjanistan ...

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08/20/19

35 North Korean Cyber Attacks In 17 Countries

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

According to a South Korean politician, last fall North Korean hackers gained access to South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center and stole 235 gigabytes of classified military plansMore here.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say they are investigating at least 35 instances in 17 countries of North Koreans using cyberattacks to illegally raise money for weapons of mass destruction programs — and they are calling for sanctions against ships providing gasoline and diesel to the country.

Last week, The Associated Press quoted a summary of a report from the experts which said that North Korea illegally acquired as much as $2 billion from its increasingly sophisticated cyber activities against financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges.

The lengthier version of the report, recently seen by the AP, reveals that neighboring South Korea was hardest-hit, the victim of 10 North Korean cyberattacks, followed by India with three attacks, and Bangladesh and Chile with two each.

Thirteen countries suffered one attack — Costa Rica, Gambia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Vietnam, it said.

The experts said they are investigating the reported attacks as attempted violations of U.N. sanctions, which the panel monitors.

The report cites three main ways that North Korean cyber hackers operate:

—Attacks through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication or SWIFT system used to transfer money between banks, “with bank employee computers and infrastructure accessed to send fraudulent messages and destroy evidence.”

—Theft of cryptocurrency “through attacks on both exchanges and users.”

— And “mining of cryptocurrency as a source of funds for a professional branch of the military.”

The experts stressed that implementing these increasingly sophisticated attacks “is low risk and high yield,” often requiring just a laptop computer and access to the internet.

The report to the Security Council gives details on some of the North Korean cyberattacks as well as the country’s successful efforts to evade sanctions on coal exports in addition to imports of refined petroleum products and luxury items including Mercedes Benz S-600 cars.

One Mercedes Maybach S-Class limousine and other S-600s, as well as a Toyota Land Cruiser, were transferred from North Korea to Vietnam for last February’s summit between the country’s leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, the experts said, adding that Vietnam said it asked for but was never provided a list of vehicles being brought into the country.

The panel also said it obtained information that the Taesong Department Store in Pyongyang, which reopened in April and is selling luxury goods, is part of the Taesong Group which includes two entities under U.N. sanctions and was previously linked to procurement for North Korea’s ballistic missile programs.

The panel recommended sanctions against six North Korean vessels for evading sanctions and illegally carrying out ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products.

Under U.N. sanctions, North Korea is limited to importing 500,000 barrels of such products annually including gasoline and diesel. The U.S. and 25 other countries said North Korea exceeded the limit in the first four months of 2019.

The panel also recommended sanctions against the captain, owner, and parent company of the North Korean-flagged Wise Honest, which was detained by Indonesia in April 2018 with an illegal shipment of coal.

As for North Korea’s military cooperation with other countries, the experts said Iran rejected an unnamed country’s allegation that two North Korean entities under sanctions maintained offices in Iran — the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation known as KOMID, which is the country’s primary arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons, and Saeng Pil Company.

The experts said they have requested information from Rwanda on a report that North Koreans are conducting special forces training at a military camp in Gabiro. And they said they are also waiting for a response from Uganda “to multiple inquires” about reports indicating specialized training is being conducted in the country, and KOMID and North Korean workers maintain a presence.

As examples of North Korean cyberattacks, the panel said hackers in one unnamed country accessed the infrastructure managing its entire ATM system and installed malware modifying the way transactions are processed. As a result, it forced 10,000 cash distributions to individuals working for or on behalf of North Korea “across more than 20 countries in five hours.”

In Chile, the experts said, North Korean hackers demonstrated “increasing sophistication in social engineering,” by using LinkedIn to offer a job to an employee of the Chilean interbank network Redbanc, which connects the ATMs of all the country’s banks.

According to a report from one unnamed country cited by the experts, stolen funds following one cryptocurrency attack in 2018 “were transferred through at least 5,000 separate transactions and further routed to multiple countries before eventual conversion” to currency that a government has declared legal money, “making it highly difficult to track the funds.”

In South Korea, the experts said, North Korean cyber actors shifted focus in 2019 to targeting cryptocurrency exchanges, some repeatedly.

The panel said South Korea’s Bithumb, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was reportedly attacked at least four times. It said the first two attacks in February 2017 and July 2017 each resulted in losses of approximately $7 million, while a June 2018 attack led to a $31 million loss and a March 2019 attack to a $20 million loss.

The panel said it also investigated instances of “cryptojacking” in which malware is used to infect a computer to illicitly use its resources to generate cryptocurrency. It said one report analyzed a piece of malware designed to mine the cryptocurrency Monero “and send any mined currency to servers located at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang.”

08/13/19

Russia’s Hypersonic Nuclear Explosions

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

It appears there have been at least two explosions.

Several are dead, several are injured and total evacuations of nearby towns are underway due to extreme radiation levels being tested by bordering countries. Our own military and intelligence agencies are participating in countless meetings to review data, intelligence, and evidence.

At issue is the work Russia is performing by placing a new nuclear reactor on hypersonic missiles and testing a jet propulsion system.

Remember, Vladimir Putin told the world about this several months ago.

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08/6/19

North Korea Stole $2 Billion For Its WMD Programs

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: North Korea has launched 4 rounds of missiles in less than 2 weeks. Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled. The missiles tested during the recent launches are short-range, however, can reach South Korea and can travel as far as an estimated 400 miles. These test missiles allegedly are very advanced such that they are being advertised as having the abilities to evade missile defense systems. Additionally, each launch took place from a different ground location.

Image result for kim jong un missile launches

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – North Korea has generated an estimated $2 billion for its weapons of mass destruction programs using “widespread and increasingly sophisticated” cyber attacks to steal from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Monday.

Pyongyang also “continued to enhance its nuclear and missile programs although it did not conduct a nuclear test or ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) launch,” said the report to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee by independent experts monitoring compliance over six months.

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08/1/19

When Russia Helps N. Korea Cheat on Sanctions, What to Do

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: Do you wonder what Russia’s votes on the UNSC really do to help North Korea? Do you wonder what the 40,000+ North Korean slave laborers in Russia add to the North Korean economy each year? About $200 million. How about the Russian oil pipeline that goes through North Korea? What about the rail system between the two countries and how that helps North Korea skirt sanctions with illicit goods transportation? Then there are the alleged legitimate navy and fishing fleets between Russia and North Korea. Money? Or the weekly air flight service from Vladivostok to Pyongyang? Or how Russia provides Internet service to North Korea in addition to China, known as SatGate and the fiber optic lines that run along the rail system? Check front companies in China, Singapore, and the banking system known as Dalcombank. Or the fact they are just flying in cash twice a week.

Rajin, North Korea:

Image result for rajin north korea  Image result for rajin north korea

FDD: The Treasury Department on Monday sanctioned a North Korean trading company official for helping Pyongyang evade U.S. and UN sanctions through illicit activity in Vietnam. The designation, which arrived in the brief interval between two North Korean missile tests in less than a week, suggests that Washington understands the importance of investigating and disrupting North Korea’s extensive overseas illicit networks.

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07/25/19

Meet the United Front Work Department

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The U.S. should perhaps be scrapping any trade deal with China. Why?

Just this week, the United States Navy and Taiwanese authorities sailed through the Taiwan Strait. China threatened the use of force to thwart any U.S. move over the partnership with Taiwan. So, the U.S. just tested that.

As an aside, the United States just approved a major sale of weapons requested by Taiwan totaling $2.2 billion. This is actually in compliance with U.S. law where we are to provide Taiwan with sufficient equipment and services for self-defense.

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07/24/19

Wray’s Senate Testimony on China

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Two significant items that prove Chinese espionage activities in the United States: a) Chinese Talent Plan and b) Corporate Party Cells.

This website has published several articles regarding the Chinese propaganda operation in the U.S. public school system and up to and including the university level.

As part of the Chinese mission to steal intellectual property beyond the insertion of censorship, culture, and propaganda, China has at least two other successful objectives, the Talent Plan and the Party Cells.

China’s New Talent Policy: Objectives and Opportunities ...

A 5-page summary document on the Talent Plan is found here.

(U) Chinese Talent Programs are a vital part of Chinese industry. Talent programs recruit experts to fill technical jobs that drive innovation and growth in China’s economy. National, provincial, and municipal talent recruitment programs provide opportunities for experts to work in industry and academic organizations supporting key areas deemed critical to China’s development. The talent programs recruit experts globally from businesses, industry, and universities with multiple incentives to work in China. Associating with these talent programs is legal and breaks no laws; however, individuals who agree to the Chinese terms must understand what is and is not legal under US law when sharing information. A simple download of intellectual property (IP) or proprietary information has the potential to become criminal activity.

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