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Did North Korea Use Sex to Target Politicians in D.C.?

Did North Korea Use Sex to Target Politicians in D.C.?
Brothels were set up near defense contractors and research labs.
By Daniel Greenfield

One Asian brothel was within walking distance of Northrop Grumman, one of the largest defense contractors in the country, along with the Defense Health Headquarters, and General Dynamics IT which “delivers consulting, technology and mission services to every major agency across the U.S. government, defense and intelligence community.”

The Pentagon and the headquarters of the CIA were also within easy driving distance.

Another brothel operated in Tyson Corners near the complex of hotels where high-level government and political conferences are being held on a constant basis.

A third was set up in Watertown, MA: half a mile from the site of the old US Army Material Technology Lab and a short walk from the new wave of biotech companies springing up in the area. A fourth in Cambridge, MA was 18 minutes away from MIT, 4 miles from IBM’s AI lab and a little further out from research centers for everyone from Merck to Microsoft.

A fifth, also in Cambridge, was walking distance away from Raytheon, a regular in DARPA’s high end defense industry research, and which is upgrading Taiwan’s early warning systems.

In Dedham, Massachusetts, a town of 25,000 that no one would ordinarily pay much attention to, the Asian brothel had come down and decided to run its secret setup 7 minutes away from General Dynamics Mission Systems which works on submarines, aircraft and satellites. It also has extensive contracts with the intelligence community.

Brothels tend to exist where there are wealthy men, but this network of “high-end” Korean brothels recently busted appeared to be interested in only some areas and some men.

According to the Justice Department press release, the brothel’s clients included, “elected officials, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, attorneys, scientists and accountants.”

Prostitutes and their pimps tend to only be out for the money, but the Lees, Han Lee, James Lee, Junmyung Lee, seemed to be more interested in the background of their ‘johns’.

Anyone interested in procuring the services of the women on the premises of the expensive apartments secretively tucked away near government offices and research labs had to “respond to a survey and provide information online, including their driver’s license photos” and “their employer information”. Brothels aren’t normally interested in where their customers work.

The setup more closely resembles a modern twist on the classic ‘honey pot’ operation often used by foreign intelligence services. But instead of circulating prostitutes around high-end hotels, a bad idea in places like Cambridge and Fairfax, they set up websites with local place names that were likely to lure in government officials, executives and researchers who would be visiting these areas or were temporarily living in them without being very familiar with them.

The brothel apartments were often close to not only defense contractors, government facilities and research labs, but also the hotels like those in Tyson Corners, that would be likely to draw visitors attending conferences, members of Congress getting a tour, generals and brass, and researchers from out of town or out of the country interviewing for positions at local labs.

The Asian brothel network was not just following the money, but appeared to be focused on D.C. bedroom communities and research communities in Massachusetts. That’s very specific.

All of that could be a coincidence.

But using “honey pot” traps was a longtime specialty of North Korean intelligence. Two decades ago, South Koreans learned through the defection of a top North Korean official that the brutal Communist regime had made extensive use of “honey pot” operations that included secretly recorded videos and blackmail of foreigners. Including Americans.

The defector revealed that there were North Korean spies operating in the United States and that their tactics included using “women to entice them.” There’s a history of this that goes back to Col. John Baird’s affair with a North Korean spy in 1949. Sexual abuse and trafficking are commonplace in the Communist regime where people are seen as state commodities.

While prostitution is officially punishable by hard labor or even execution, the regime’s elite have made use of an extensive formal prostitution network, the ‘kippumjo’, recruited as virgins by the Communist Party, trafficked and then married off to military officials to spy on them and ensure their loyalty, and an informal one that runs through North Korea’s entertainment industry whose ‘actresses’ and ‘pop stars’ are also expected to sexually service Communist Party leaders.

North Korea’s external sex espionage is a reflection of the Communist commodification of relationships between men and women as embodied by socialist ideas going back to Fourier. The regime’s prostitution networks extend beyond its borders into China, where refugees are often trafficked to brothels, and into South Korea where some were sent as spies.

The Korean brothel network in the U.S. would have been positioned to solicit ideal targets, high-ranking married men on the road, record them in the apartments that it controlled, and then blackmail them. There is no evidence that this actually took place but the Justice Department’s involvement is also unusual for an operation that involved fairly few women and clients.

What actually triggered a “multi-year investigation” by the DOJ into the Korean brothels? The DOJ targets sex trafficking across state lines, but devoting so many resources to a small-scale operation run by three people appears to be unusual. The Justice Department press release emphasized the high-level status of the clients and mentioned that some twenty “buyers” were interviewed, but not named or charged. Did any of them face blackmail efforts or detect a red flag when they were asked questions about their jobs or had their phones tampered with?

Han Lee moved to America from Korea in 2014. Junmyung Lee came here on a student visa in 2018. Some of the women they were transporting were coming in from South Korea. While South Korea does some spying on us (as do most countries, including our allies) but it usually takes the form of conventional efforts to recruit informants and intercept information. A honey pot operation on this scale would be uncharacteristic of South Korea’s spy operation.

But it would be entirely in keeping with North Korea’s efforts to model itself on China.

What really enabled this “high-end brothel network” to operate was an open immigration policy that allows foreign criminals and spies to enter the United States. The Lees were not only able to come to this country, but to transport women from Korea into the United States of America.

National security cannot be distinguished from immigration security. Without immigration security, we are prey for every spy agency, information operation and terror group in the world.

Original Article

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