Korean-American Charged With Trying to Illegally Export RD-180 Engines

A Korean-American who served prison time for attempting to broker the sale of deadly nerve gas bombs to Iran was indicted Wednesday on new charges of trying to help South Korea obtain advanced Russian rocket hardware and technology.

Investigators also found thousands of e-mails allegedly sent by Juwhan Yun, a 68-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Short Hills, N.J., involving other deals for sophisticated radar and air defense systems, short-wave infrared cameras, laser-guided bomb components and missile launch devices.

In 1989, Yun was charged with attempting to supply Iran with 500 quarter-ton bombs of deadly sarin nerve gas. He was eventually convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to 30 months. He was released in March 1991. None of the gas was ever acquired by Yun or shipped to Iran.

In the new rocket case, based largely on intercepted e-mails and phone calls, Yun allegedly was trying to help South Korea acquire a rocket propulsion system — a joint Russian-U.S. system called the RD-180 — through Russian channels. The system was to be used for the Korea Satellite Launch Vehicle 2, according to court documents.

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