November 29, 2023

Judge Juche: the curious case of the Wise Honest seizure

The loss of one of its largest ships deals a major blow to North Korea's money-making abilities

This article is the third of a series produced by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies exclusively for NK News. For this series, we’ve chosen to focus on the legal (mis)adventures of North Korean entities and individuals overseas.

Judge Juche is back, this time with a look at the Wise Honest. Though initially detained by Indonesia in April 2018, this North Korean vessel was more recently subject to a civil asset forfeiture complaint filed by the United States Department of Justice in the Southern District of New York. NK News's Leo Byrne has covered the forfeiture complaint, but the specifics of the case itself are worth a deeper dive.