People & Power

Bureau 39: Cash for Kim

An investigation into how a secret North Korean agency manages to finance the country’s nuclear arsenal.

Watch Part 1 above. Watch Part 2 below.

How is it possible that North Korea, one of the poorest countries on earth, manages to finance a nuclear weapons programme?

The answer is through Bureau 39, a secretive organisation hidden deep inside the government apparatus. Its aim is to procure foreign exchange, by any means possible, to fund Kim Jong Un’s regime.

From printing counterfeit dollars and profiting from slave labour sent overseas, to illegally selling arms, committing insurance fraud and widespread computer hacking, the inventiveness of North Korea’s sanction busters knows no bounds.

In this two-part investigation, filmmakers Sebastian Weis and Carl Gierstorfer gain remarkable access to whistleblowers previously involved in these activities. They reveal how for decades North Korea has been circumventing UN sanctions to finance its nuclear arsenal and how Kim’s money men have repeatedly managed to outwit the West.

Part 2: