February 21, 2024

North Korean statues are showing up in Africa — and they could be illegal

One French-speaking DPRK businessman hopped across countries and brokered potentially-sanctioned statue deals

Several new North Korean statues are scattered across several African countries despite possible sanctions violations, according to an unpublished U.N. report seen by NK News.

Many of these statues have been linked to the overseas arm of North Korea’s sanctioned Mansudae Arts Studio and have been spotted over the last three years. The U.N. Security Council sanctioned Mansudae Art Studio exports in 2016 after investigations revealed that the studio was selling artwork and funneling those profits back to the DPRK government. The studio’s foreign branch, Mansudae Overseas Projects, was then sanctioned in 2017.