Extradited N.Korean man appears in US court

The US Department of Justice says a North Korean man has been extradited to the United States for the first time in order to stand trial on money laundering charges.

The department announced on Monday that Mun Chol Myong had been detained in a foreign country, since his arrest by local authorities in 2019. It said he made his initial appearance in a federal court in Washington on Monday.

The department says Mun is an intelligence operative affiliated with North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau.

He allegedly defrauded US banks and violated both US and UN sanctions by engaging in money laundering activities. The Justice Department says his transactions between 2013 and 2018 are valued at over 1.5 million dollars, and were part of a scheme to provide luxury items to North Korea.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers says the US will continue to "use the long reach" of its laws to protect the American people from sanctions evasions and other national security threats.

Mun is believed to have been handed over to the US by Malaysian authorities last week.

North Korea said last Friday that it was severing diplomatic ties with Malaysia. It warned that the US "will also be made to pay a due price."