It is nothing more than an act of economic warfare.  My study, the Gangster Regime: How North Korea Counterfeits United States Currency, provides a comprehensive look at the scope of North Korean counterfeiting and its implications for the economic and national security of the United States.

Counterfeiting of U.S. currency by North Korea is a direct attack on a protected asset of the United States - an act of economic warfare - and a violation of U.S. law that could potentially deeply impact U.S. interests throughout the world, In national security terms, proceeds from counterfeiting and other illicit activities help Kim Jong-Il maintain his grip on power and further his nuclear weapons and missile programs, which contribute to instability in Northeast Asia.

The release is timely, as the Bush Administration is committed to "resolving" issues surrounding Macau-based Banco Delta Asia within 30 days of the February 13th agreement.  In September 2005, Banco Delta Asia was found to be complicit in North Korean money laundering and counterfeiting of U.S. currency.  An announcement from the Administration is expected this week. 

Regardless of the outcome surrounding Banco Delta Asia, this report shows that continued vigilance against North Korea's illicit activities is necessary.  My worry is that we are forgetting how we got this far, through concerted pressure, or the criminal nature of the North Korean government.  Confronting Pyongyang on its illicit activities makes the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula more likely, not less.  As doing so would sever a key subsidy for North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program.

I also authored an oped which appeared in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.