A man is behind bars after becoming the first Australian charged with allegedly supplying weapons of mass destruction to North Korea.
A Korean-born man living in Sydney has been accused of brokering sales and discussing the supply of weapons of mass destruction on behalf of North Korea.
Choi Han Chan, the first person to be charged under the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, has been formally refused bail by Parramatta Bail Court.
The 59-year-old man did not appear before Magistrate Carl Milovanovic, and is scheduled to appear in Central Local Court next week.
He faces six charges relating to provision of services for weapons of mass destruction in North Korea after being arrested at his Eastwood home on Saturday night.
"As a result of extensive investigations, the AFP alleged the man was acting as an economic agent of North Korea through his facilitation of various exports from North Korea," a statement from the AFP read.
"The AFP believes the man was generating income for the North Korean government."
The man, who is of South Korean descent, has been living in Australia for the past 30 years and the AFP will allege he was involved in brokering the sale of missiles and missile componentry and expertise from North Korea and other international entities.
Court paper allege that Choi brokered the services, being the sale of missiles, knowing that it would assist a weapons of mass destruction program.
The documents reveal Choi allegedly brokered the sale of the missiles, a measurement system for the projectiles and "related expertise" from Kim Jong-un's regime to a man named Raymond Chao.
He also stands accused of brokering the sale of coal produced in North Korea to entities in Vietnam and Indonesia, in violation of global sanctions against the regime.
It's alleged the offences occurred between August 5 and December 16 this year.
"This case is like nothing we have ever seen on Australia soil," AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters this morning.
"Any individual who attempts to fly in the face of sanctions cannot and will not go unnoticed in Australia.
"This man was acting as a loyal agent for North Korea who believed he was acting to serve some higher patriotic purpose.
"I think at the end of the day he would sell whatever he could to make money back for the North Korean government."
There is no evidence any weapons or missile components ever came to Australia, however.
"This is black market 101," Gaughan said.
"We're alleging all the activity occurred offshore ... the Australian public should be assured that police have acted to ensure no direct risk to our community.
"We'll be alleging in court this man was brokering the sale of missile componentry and technical expertise from North Korea to other international entities — we believe this man participated in discussions about the sale of missile componentry from North Korea to other entities abroad as another attempt to raise revenue for the government of North Korea.
"The missile componentry assisted in the guidance of ballistic missiles."
The maximum penalty for the offences is 10 years imprisonment.
He has been charges with six offences, however the AFP have not ruled out further charges.
It will also be alleged the man attempted to transfer coal from North Korea to entities in Indonesia and Vietnam.
- The Daily Telegraph