North Korea 'using Berlin embassy for procurement'

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The agency believes the tech was used for Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.

The head of a German intelligence agency accused North Korea of acquiring parts for their missile and nuclear weapons programs through its embassy in Berlin.

"From our point of view, they were for the missile programme but also partly for the nuclear programme", BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen said in an interview with German public television channel ARD, to be aired today.

In brief extracts released in advance, the intelligence chief described how the North Korean embassy had purchased "dual use" technology that could be employed for civilian or military purposes. "But we can't guarantee that we are able to detect and prevent every case".

He added it could be presumed that parts for North Korea's launch programme were acquired "via other markets or underground buyers had acquired them in Germany".

BfV obtained clues on the technology procurement in 2016 and past year, according to an investigation by public TV channel ARD.

In 2014, it said a North Korean diplomat attempted to obtain equipment used in the development of chemical weapons.

A United Nations report seen by the news agency on Friday said North Korea had managed to earn some $200 million previous year by flouting restrictions on coal, steel, iron and petroleum exports.

Pyongyang sold a ballistic missile system to Myanmar and may be helping Syria with a chemical weapons program, according to the report.

North Korea has repeatedly been accused of flouting global sanctions created to make supreme leader Kim Jong-un abandon his nuclear programme.

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