Feb. 4 (UPI) — North Korea has used its embassy in Berlin to obtain materials for its nuclear weapons program, according to Germany’s domestic intelligence service.
The service uncovered multiple attempts by North Korea’s embassy to buy equipment that could be used for ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons throughout the past two years, head of intelligence Hans-Georg Maassen said in an interview with broadcaster NDR TV set to air in full on Monday.
“We discovered procurement activities taking place there, which we believe were focused on the missile program, and also to some extent on the nuclear program,” Maassen said.
Maassen added many of the attempts had been thwarted, but not all were detected.
“When we see such things, we stop them. But we cannot guarantee that we spot and block each attempt,” he said.
The materials obtained were often so-called “dual use” goods which can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
“They were acquired in other markets or front companies were used to buy them in Germany,” he said.
A United Nations report on Friday showed North Korea defied sanctions by exporting roughly $200 million in coal and other banned commodities last year.
Shipments passed through China, Russia and Malaysia as they failed to stop the Kim Jong Un regime’s efforts to fund its nuclear and missile programs, the report stated.