Rumors have been spreading around stating the North Korean Supreme Leader earns millions of dollars from illegal activities with Office 39, which operates by smuggling drugs, firearms, and traffic humans around the world to avoid sanctions.
Money making office
According to Mirror UK, the rumors claim that Kim Kong-Un is leading the secretive organization that conducts illegal activities to earn millions going around sanctions. Experts believe the supreme leader had been using Office 39 as a handy way of avoiding penalties that limit the good the country can import and export.
Without the establishment, which was set up in 1974 by Kim's father, Kim Jong-Il, the supreme leader would not be able to keep up his luxurious lifestyle while the rest of the country faces famine and poverty.
Former US Army Special Forces Colonel David Maxwell, who is also an expert on North Korea, said that the supreme leader gets all the money he needs to buy his expensive accessories with the funds that Office 39 earns.
Asia specialist at Park strategies in New York, Sean King, also said the Kim family are pretending to be the leaders of North Korea while being an organized crime family under the guise.
King noted that the embassies of North Korea placed around the world are designed to be similar to a multinational criminal enterprise.
The claims state that some of the establishment's illegal activities include slave labor, smuggling gold, dealing drugs, and selling of firearms.
The secretive office's location
Office 39 is rumored to have its base of operations in the country's capital, Pyongyang, and that government officials travel around the world to conduct and expand the illegal activities.
Reportedly, Office 39 is located inside a faceless government building inside Pyongyang, and some rumors have spread claiming the supreme leader's sister, Kim Yo-Jong, whose husband is a top official in the illegal facility, is rising in power as well, as reported by The New York Post.
Jason Lee, 35 years old, a defector from North Korea, said the office is like a bank for the Kim family. Lee and his father both worked as executives in the secretive office where they ran shipping companies before fleeing to South Korea and later on the United States.
Lee noted that Kim had been more cautious with Office 39 and its illegal activities as it had been gaining too much international attention and putting their Party at risk.
King said that before 2000, diplomats from North Korea acted as bag men for Office 39, and nowadays often still are.
Experts claim that several North Korean diplomats travelled around the world carrying liquor, cigarettes, and self-manufactured drugs or contraband to other embassies around the globe. Personnel from Office 39 allegedly also made money for the Kim regime by becoming freelance drug mules.
Having about 40 embassies scattered across the world, North Korea makes more money by exploiting slave labor. In Chinese and Russian territory, for example, North Korean citizens could be seen being worked to log and are forced to give almost the entirety of their wages to the government.
In 2000, the drug smuggling conducted by North Korea reached its peak. In 2003, police officers from Australia discovered $160 million worth of heroin being unloaded onto a beach from the North Korean cargo ship Pong Su.