Huawei secretly helped N Korea build commercial wireless network

22 Juillet, 2019, 19:58 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju

The poster child for China's tech industry, Huawei had secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network using American technology, the Washington Post claims to have learned from leaked internal documents.

The Chinese telecommunications giant partnered with a state-owned Chinese firm, Panda International Information Technology Co Ltd, on a number of projects in North Korea over at least eight years, the Post reported.

The major concern in this latest case is that Huawei, which has used American tech in its components, could potentially have violated United States export controls if it used those components within North Korea, which is subject to worldwide sanctions over its nuclear regime and human rights abuses.

Sources briefed on the matter confirmed the Commerce Department has been investigating Huawei since 2016 and is reviewing whether the company violated export control rules in relation to sanctions on North Korea.

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They noted that a defense reauthorization bill under consideration in Congress contains new "provisions to better enforce sanctions on Pyongyang by making it clear that any company that does business with North Korea - like Huawei reportedly did - will face American sanctions". In January US Justice Department unsealed indictments that included 23 counts pertaining to the alleged theft of intellectual property, obstruction of justice and fraud related to its alleged evasion of US sanctions against Iran President Donald Trump has blacklisted the company as a security threat, and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is now under house arrest in Canada awaiting extradition to the US.

Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said in a statement to the Washington Post it had "no business presence" in North Korea.

The arrangement between Huawei and Panda International made it challenging to recognise Huawei's involvement, the report said.

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