April 15, 2024


James Byrne

James Byrne

James Byrne is a Research Fellow at RUSI’s Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme. His research interests include North Korea’s illicit shipping and procurement networks, open-source intelligence and analysis. He previously worked for the South Korean government.


Lightning strikes twice as Pyongyang acquires 2nd ship via Busan: Investigation

North Korea likely pulled same strings to purchase both ships, one of which appears to have delivered sanctioned cargo

Ethan JewellEthan Jewell | James Byrne | Joseph ByrneSeptember 2, 2022

The China connection: North Korea’s nuclear operations in the Middle Kingdom

Recent missile tests underscore the importance of North Korea's procurement and proliferation networks in China

Gary Somerville | James ByrneFebruary 14, 2022

North Korean coal smuggling route to China rebounds to pre-COVID activity levels

At least 17 DPRK-linked ships traversed Chinese waters as authorities turn a blind eye to illicit shipping


South Korean firm repeatedly tied to North Korea-linked ship-to-ship transfers

ROK company implicated in encounters with DPRK-flagged and UNSC-designated vessels


Risky ventures: the London company embroiled in a North Korean coal scandal

Amet Ventures insists it has been framed, though its owner had ties to Ukrainian coal smuggling

James ByrneJames Byrne | Leo ByrneSeptember 5, 2018

On Liberty: the sanctioned company working with South Korea and Japan

Newly designated DPRK-linked Hong Kong company has sent ships to South Korea and Japan for years

James ByrneJames Byrne | Leo ByrneMarch 12, 2018

Sierra Leone registers North Korea linked vessels in potential sanctions breach

Registrations come after Panama delists 20 vessels for their ties to the DPRK

James ByrneJames Byrne | Leo ByrneFebruary 27, 2018

Dandong company involved in coal, North Korean labor, and shipping clothes to U.S.: investigation

Research finds a large Chinese company at the heart of international network

James ByrneJames Byrne | Leo ByrneJanuary 15, 2018

Seized oil tanker linked to N. Korean networks, investigation reveals

Despite Panamanian flag, KOTI owned by Chinese nationals tied to DPRK proliferation

James ByrneJames Byrne | Leo ByrneJanuary 3, 2018

London calling: UK shell companies in North Korea’s networks

Investigation shows how London companies own ships visiting Chinese and DPRK coal ports

James ByrneJames Byrne | Leo ByrneDecember 21, 2017