German intel chief: North Korea used embassy for procurement

This Aug. 29, 2017, file photo distributed on Aug. 30, 2017, by the North Korean government shows what was said to be the test launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP)
Updated 04 February 2018
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German intel chief: North Korea used embassy for procurement

BERLIN: The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says North Korea has used its embassy in Berlin to acquire equipment apparently intended for its missile or nuclear programs.
The comments by BfV agency head Hans-Georg Maassen were released by NDR public television Saturday before a documentary airing next week. Maassen said of the embassy: “We have seen that procurement activities took place from there, from our point of view with a view to the missile program and in part also the nuclear program.”
He added that “if we see such things, we prevent them,” but it isn’t always possible to recognize them and the activities often involve goods usable for either civilian or military purposes.
Pyongyang has faced increasing UN sanctions in response to its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.


Gunmen kill 13 at Veracruz bar in one of worst Mexican slayings this year

Updated 25 min 53 sec ago
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Gunmen kill 13 at Veracruz bar in one of worst Mexican slayings this year

  • The unidentified assailants opened fire on Friday night after coming to look for a man at the bar
  • Seven men, five women and a child died in the shooting

MEXICO CITY: Gunmen shot dead 13 people at a bar in the city of Minatitlan in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities said on Friday, in one of the worst slayings to hit Mexico since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office.
The unidentified assailants opened fire on Friday night after coming to look for a man at a bar in the southeast of Minatitlan, a spokesman for the government of Veracruz said.
Seven men, five women and a child died in the shooting, which occurred close to Minatitlan’s oil refinery, one of six run by state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Four other people were injured, the state government said in a statement.
The motive for the killings was unclear, the spokesman said.
The man the gunmen were seeking was identified as the owner of a bar in the city, the state government said. The attack took place during a family celebration.
It was not immediately clear if the man owned the bar where the attack occurred, nor whether he was present at the time.
Hugo Gutierrez, the head of public security in the state, said on Twitter that an operation had been launched to capture the people responsible for the killings.
The oil-rich state of Veracruz has been convulsed by gang violence and political corruption scandals for several years.
Lopez Obrador took office in December vowing to reduce violence in Mexico, where more than 200,000 people have been killed since the end of 2006 in brutal turf wars between drug cartels and their clashes with security forces.
After reaching record levels in 2018, murder rates have stayed high, surpassing previous-year levels in the first three months of the new government, official government data shows.
The president was due to visit Veracruz on Sunday, according to an official schedule published before the attack took place.