North Korea using Berlin embassy to obtain nuclear technology
Feb 05, 2018, 00:50
"But we can not guarantee that we spot and block each attempt", said Maassen about acquiring potential weapons parts in Germany in comments released by NDR.
BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen said: "We have noticed that so many procurement activities have taken place from the embassy".
"When we see such things, we stop them".
The spy chief said the goods North Korea acquired were so-called "dual use", meaning they had civilian and military uses.
North Korea has repeatedly been accused of flouting worldwide sanctions created to make supreme leader Kim Jong-un abandon his nuclear programme.
"They were acquired in other markets or front companies were used to buy them in Germany", he said.
The German accusations come after the publication on Friday of a United Nations report which says North Korea is flouting sanctions by exporting coal, iron, steel and other banned commodities, earning almost $200 million in revenue past year. "But we can not guarantee that we spot and block each attempt", he said.
Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.
A separate investigation by public broadcaster ARD said Germany's intelligence agency first saw signs of North Korea trying to procure technology and equipment in 2016 and 2017.
North Korea also reportedly attempted to obtain a monitor that measures gas emissions when chemical weapons are produced.
The revelations come amid tensions over North Korea's rapid advances in nuclear and conventional weapons programmes, which have reached their highest point in years.
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