Senior Whitehall sources have told The Sunday Telegraph it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances.
One Government minister reportedly said: “North Korean scientists are people of some ability, but clearly they’re not doing it entirely in a vacuum.
Another Foreign Office source reportedly added: “For them to have done this entirely on their own stretches the bounds of credulity.”
Whilst Iran is reportedly top of the list of countries suspected of assisting North Korea in some form, Russia is also suspected of doing so.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also hinted at his department’s concerns last week as he took questions from MPs about the North Korea crisis.
Mr Johnson said: “There is currently an investigation into exactly how the country has managed to make this leap in technological ability.
“We are looking at the possible role that may have been played, inadvertently or otherwise, by some current and former nuclear states.”
It comes amid rising fears of World War 3 after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapon test last week – describing it as an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile.
In the 1990s, the CIA pointed the finger at Pakistan and the nuclear black market network developed by “The Father of the Pakistan Bomb” A.Q. Khan as assisting both North Korea and Iran in going nuclear. In 2004, Khan confessed to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. He later retracted that confession, but the proof of his activities is overwhelming.
Khan’s specialty was centrifuge technology, machines that are vital in enriching uranium to bomb grade levels. Iran now has advanced centrifuges that we were assured by the Obama administration were under constant surveillance and could not be used to enrich uranium beyond the 5% level (85% enrichment is the minimum necessary to construct a bomb).
But what the British government is concerned about is that centrifuge technology requires first world expertise. North Korea could not possibily have built machines that required such precise engineering so that they could spin hundreds of times a second. The comings and goings of Iranian scientists to and from North Korea has long been noted.
As for Russia, it is believed that the rocket engines used in North Korea’s advanced ICBM’s came from Ukraine. If any nation knew how to smuggle those rocket engines out of Ukraine, it would be Russia.
North Korea has received a lot of help in developing it’s nuclear and missile programs. Those nations who assisted Kim Jong-un in this endeavor could have blood on their hands if the US finds it necessary to take these programs out.
According to reports in the Sunday Express and the Telegraph, British officials are convinced that the Iranians assisted North Korea in developing its nuclear arsenal.
The British government also believes that Russia gave vital assistance to North Korea in their ICBM program.