The Department of Justice announced a criminal complaint charging Ri Jong Chol, Ri Yu Gyong, North Korean nationals, and Gan Chee Lim, a Malaysia national. The three were charged with conspiracy to violate North Korean Sanctions Regulations and bank fraud, and conspiracy to launder funds. The defendants allegedly established and utilized front companies that transmitted U.S. dollar wires through the United States to purchase commodities on behalf of North Korean customers.
By component, the non-oil and gas trade balance recorded a USD3.52 billion surplus in July 2020, up from USD1.36 billion the month earlier. The increase was explained by a surge of non-oil and gas exports coupled with declining non-oil and gas imports in line with compressed domestic demand. The export gains were primarily driven by precious metals, jewellery/gems, animal and vegetable fats and oils, motor vehicles and parts, as well as iron and steel. On the other hand, consumer goods and raw materials were the main drag on non-oil and gas imports despite an uptick recorded in terms of capital goods imports in line with stronger exports. The oil and gas trade deficit persisted in the reporting period at USD0.25 billion as imports of crude oil and refined products increased.