Kim Jong Il, Call Your Lawyer

I think it’s safe to say that North Korea is going through something of a legal rough patch. Boycotting talks has worked well for North Korea, but boycotting trials, not so much:

A state-run North Korean bank has lost a lawsuit for not paying back a loan it borrowed from a Taiwanese bank nine years ago, the New York district court said Friday.

The District Court of New York confirmed it ordered the Foreign Trade Bank of Korea to pay compensations of just under US$6.77 million to the Mega International Commercial Bank (MICB) in a ruling made earlier in the week. [Yonhap]

By which they really mean the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Nit, picked.

The North Korean bank is widely viewed as Pyongyang’s main foreign exchange earner with branch offices in Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Hallelujah. We’ve finally located an institution capable of holding North Korea to the same standards as other human beings. I wish all of these plaintiffs the best of luck in collecting their winnings. But as the article notes, with all of these judgments piling up — by my count, fast approaching $500 million, or about a year’s worth of counterfeiting/dope peddling/proliferating income — people are going to hesitate to do deals with the regime if they think their funds, instead of going toward their North Korean partners, are likely to get attached by third-country courts to satisfy judgments in America.

The down side of this is utterly lost on me.