59-year-old Chan Han Choi, was arrested in Sydney by Australian police and charged with brokering sales and discussing the supply of WMD’s.
Police stated that he broke the UN and local sanctions against the country in the first case of its kind in Australia.
The police described him as a “loyal agent” who believed himself to be acting for “some higher patriotic purpose”.
Mr Choi was born in South Korea but lived in Australia for more than 30 years and was a naturalized citizen, police said.
The 59-year-old worked as a hospital cleaner who lived alone in a rental apartment in the Sydney suburb of Eastwood and was known on the local Korean Christian community.
Former church friends told the newspaper they had broken off their friendship with Mr Choi when he began to express support for North Korea.
“I hated that my husband met with him and I don’t like anything related to North Korea; many people are scared for their safety,” the wife of a former friend.
“All those trips to North Korea — he was very private and we thought it was very strange.”
Former friends said they were shocked when they heard of his Saturday arrest, but weren’t surprised. Choi had told them that he sent his own money to the rogue state.
“softly spoken”, “polite” and “nice”, Mr Choi’s neighbors stated.
He is the first person to be charged under weapons of mass destruction act under the Australian law and faces six charges.
Police stated he discussed the sale of ballistic missile technology with foreign entities, and negotiated the sale of material such as coal, in order to raise income for the rogue state.
He could face up to 10 years in jail and was released on bail on Sunday.