The Sunday Telegraph reported that officials believed “it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances” to its nuclear weapons programme.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said recently: “There is currently an investigation into exactly how [North Korea] has managed to make this leap in technological ability”.
He added: “We are looking at the possible role that may have been played, inadvertently or otherwise, by some current and former nuclear states”.
The news comes as Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported this week on the worrying signs of closer ties between Iran and North Korea. Speaking to Haaretz, Israeli defence analyst Tal Inbar said: “It’s a reciprocal relationship, in which the countries share their military knowledge, and in some cases there have been actual joint projects”.
The Haaretz report said that signs of closer cooperation between the two countries include the presence of a senior Iranian military official on the podium near Kim Jong Un at parades of military hardware in Pyongyang. In addition, the report said that the design of the Syrian nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed in a 2007 airstrike was nearly identical to that of North Korea’s Yongbyon installation.