DIPLOMACY: Kim Il Sung's Money Pipeline

Every few weeks a sleek white ship sails from Japan to the North Korean port of Wonsan. On board are scores of Koreans eager to visit relatives -- along with a cargo that until recently often included such high-tech items as powerful computers and troves of cash, much of it exported in violation of Japanese law. Because Tokyo is reluctant to antagonize either the Kim Il Sung government or the North Koreans who live in Japan, customs officials had previously turned a blind eye.

Any effort to choke the Kim regime economically would have to crack down on the traffic between...

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