British officials fear that Iran may be secretly helping North Korea’s missile programme, according to media reports.
Senior government sources told The Sunday Telegraph it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances. “North Korean scientists are people of some ability, but clearly they’re not doing it entirely in a vacuum,” a minister told the paper.
Another foreign office source reportedly added: “For them to have done this entirely on their own stretches the bounds of credulity.”
While Iran is at the top of the list of countries suspected of giving some form of assistance to North Korea, Russia, too, is in the spotlight.
UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson had hinted at similar concerns. “There is currently an investigation into exactly how the country has managed to make this leap in technological ability,” he said last week while taking questions from MPs about the North Korea crisis.
“We are looking at the possible role that may have been played, inadvertently or otherwise, by some current and former nuclear states,” he had said.