The rogue money printers of Pyongyang

By asking for the extradition of Sean Garland, has the US government blown the lid off what looks like the biggest money laundering schemes in history? In the IHT, John Cooley writes that for the first time the US government has acknowledged that North Korea prints ‘superdollars’ to support its economy. The Federal Warrant charges:

…Garland, who denies his guilt and was released on bail pending receipt of U.S. extradition papers, arranged with North Korean agencies “for the purchase of quantities of notes and enlisted other people to disseminate” the bogus money, known as superdollars or supernotes

And this is another story I hadn’t heard:

In the summer of 1998, the U.S. Treasury refused comment when the Japanese Navy seized a North Korean ship stuffed with superdollars. The Japanese police, backed by the Tokyo field office of the U.S. Secret Service, rounded up intended distributors in Japan. Within 48 hours of the ship’s seizure, officials in Tokyo and Washington had muffled the affair.

I wouldn’t mind my own mint in the attic.

Russia, China Kick Off Military Exercises

Warmer ties indeed, and just when the US is getting cosy with India. So in Asia its China + Russia vs USA + India…Pakistan is the odd one out – but they all have nuclear weapons. But who is who’s proxy?

The drills, dubbed ‘Peace Mission 2005,’ are the latest indication of warming post-Cold War ties amid shared suspicions of U.S. dominance in world affairs. They also underscore Moscow’s worries – and China’s wariness – over a series of uprisings in several former Soviet republics that have resulted in pro-Western governments.

`The exercises are the logical continuation of the first signs of cooperation between Russia and China in the struggle against ‘orange revolutions,’ separatism and the dominant influence of the U.S. in the Euroasiatic sphere,” the news Web site wrote Thursday.