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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 18, 1976

LETTER FROM NORWEGIAN POLICE SECURITY SERVICE TO FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'THE NORTH KOREAN EMBASSY - ILLEGAL IMPORT AND DISTRIBUTION OF SPIRITS, CIGARETTES, ETC.'

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    Surveillance of the North Korean Embassy in Oslo discovered it was the source of illegal import and distribution of spirits and cigarettes, and the illegal activities were directed by the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
    "Letter from Norwegian Police Security Service to Foreign Ministry, 'The North Korean Embassy - Illegal Import and Distribution of Spirits, Cigarettes, etc.'," October 18, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 14.1/45, 1970-1979, Archives Section, Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. Obtained by Charles Kraus and translated by August Myrseth. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134882
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NORWEGIAN POLICE SECURITY SERVICE - SURVEILLANCE SECTION

CLASSIFICATION: SECRET

OSLO, 18. OCTOBER 1976
COPY NO. 5

ROYAL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OSLO UNIT

RECEIVED BY FOREIGN MINISTRY 19. OCTOBER 1976

ADDITIONAL COPIES DISPATCHED TO:

ROYAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE (NO. 2)

ARCHIVE (NO. 3-5)

THE NORTH KOREAN EMBASSY - ILLEGAL IMPORT AND DISTRIBUTION OF SPIRITS, CIGARETTES, ETC.

With reference to my earlier meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Justice, I hereby disclose the following:

Through surveillance of the North Korean Embassy in Oslo since the beginning of September this year, and through questioning of involved Norwegian nationals conducted on the 15th and 16th, we have established that the embassy has carried out large-scale illegal import and distribution of spirits and cigarettes. Our preliminary tally of illegal contraband includes approx. 6-10,000 bottles of spirits and approx. 100,000 cigarettes. One of the Norwegians now indicted for breach of the Alcohol Law has stated that he was also offered to buy narcotic substances from 3rd Secretary Li Song-jin [sic].

Furthermore, it is considered evidenced that the operation has been led directly from North Korea, where the North Korean Foreign Ministry and representatives from the North Korean Worker's Party have been directly involved. Revenue from the operation has been funneled to the aforementioned institutions, and the North Korean ambassadors to the Nordic countries have been pressured and reprimanded by Pyongyang for failing to comply with their revenue targets for the smuggling and sales operation. The operation has been coordinated through North Korea's Embassies in the DDR, Poland and the Soviet Union, and at least some of the goods has been brought in from Poland. North Korean intelligence personnel has been involved.

Furthermore, I refer to the attached document which includes records of the surveillance operation and the preliminary results of the investigation now undertaken by the Oslo Police Department.

As will be evident from the attached document, every civil servant at the North Korean embassy in Oslo has been involved. The same applies to the ambassador, Gil Jae-gyeong [Kil Jae Gyong] who is stationed in Stockholm with additional accreditation in Oslo. The remainder are as follows:

Embassy Councellor Pak Gi-pil [sic].

3rd Secretary Li Song-Jin [sic].

3rd Secretary Ryu Ryong-song [sic].

Chauffeur Ryom Sok-gu [sic].

The Norwegian Police Security Service strongly recommends that the aforementioned North Korean diplomatic personnel be declared persona non grata in Norway, and that they are ordered to leave the country shortly.

Gunnar Haarstad

Chief of Surveillance