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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 21, 1976

TELEGRAM FROM NORWEGIAN EMBASSY IN BONN, 'SMUGGLING AT NORTH KOREA'S EMBASSIES'

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    Summary of reports in German newspapers on North Korea embassies smuggling activities in Nordic countries.
    "Telegram from Norwegian Embassy in Bonn, 'Smuggling at North Korea's Embassies'," October 21, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 14.1/45, 1970-1979, Archives Section, Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. Obtained by Charles Kraus and translated by August Myrseth. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134889
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COPY NO:

1: MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

2: SECRETARY GENERAL

3: UNDER-SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

4: DIRECTOR GENERAL POLITICAL SECTION

5: PRESS SECRETARY

6: REPORT OFFICE

7: PRESS

15.30

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EMBASSY IN BONN, 21. OCTOBER 1976

ttr/mlh

118 SMUGGLING AT NORTH KOREA’S EMBASSIES

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO SMUGGLING AT NORTH KOREA’S EMBASSIES IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES

In the German press, only minor note has been taken of the issue, and these have mainly been brief accounts of the events.

As the first German newspaper thus far, Die Welt has today, 21/10, printed a longer article with background information on the North Korean organization and their operation in northern and western Europe. The article can be found on the front page.

The newspaper claims the smuggling operation was organized from North Korea’s embassy in Karlshort in East Berlin. Chief of the operation was Colonel Kim Hak Tschel [sic], who until recently functioned as military attaché at the embassy. The newspaper claims to have proof that beyond smuggling, the organization was involved in extensive arms trade and espionage.

Customs authorities and security services in West Berlin have over a longer period observed the traffic around the Embassy. According to the article, between four and eight vehicles crossed the border to West Berlin in Friedrichstrasse daily.

Die Welt claims that Colonel Kim is known to authorities in the Federal Republic. Security services hold extensive dossiers on his activities. The North Korean organization had chapters in West Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Vienna.

According to the newspaper, the military intelligence service in the Bundesrepublik holds information indicating Colonel Kim’s espionage on matters such as weapons systems and electronic equipment of the Starfighter and Phantom jets of the German Air Force. In Stuttgart, an attempt to distribute a new army pistol has been revealed. The operation also involves espionage relating to the ‘Leopard’ tank, as well as various types of light weaponry.

A North Korean agent who was recently released from a West Berlin prison after serving a sentence of many years, has disclosed that he was paid in British pounds by Military Attaché Kim.

North Korean agents established relations with people at industry fairs in Hanover, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, and West Berlin, with the intention of receiving deliveries of products that are prohibited from export to East Bloc countries.

Throughout the operation, the North Koreans have also acted as middlemen for KGB, GRU (the Soviet military intelligence service), and the East German intelligence service. Die Welt even states the reference number (1 p ar/57.73) of the documents in the archives of the West German intelligence service that relates to the latter.

The Embassy assumes that the article in Die Welt can be obtained by the Foreign Ministry at Oslo.

Noramb [Norwegian Ambassador]

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