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Sydney man charged with brokering North Korea missile sales

/ Source: Associated Press
North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva.Denis Balibouse / Reuters file

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SYDNEY — A Sydney man has been charged with acting as an agent for North Korea in Australia by allegedly attempting to broker sales for Pyongyang including components used in ballistic missiles.

The Australian Federal Police say the 59-year-old naturalized Australian used encrypted communication to broker sales and discuss the supply of weapons of mass destruction.

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Police say the man was generating tens of millions of dollars for Pyongyang by arranging the sale of missiles, componentry and expertise from North Korea to other international entities, and was trying to arrange the transfer of coal from the country to Indonesia and Vietnam.

He's the first person charged under Australia's Weapons of Mass Destruction Act and faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

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