Bureau 39: Kim’s Cash Machine

How is it possible that North Korea, one of the poorest countries on earth finances a nuclear weapons programme large enough to challenge the USA? The answer: Bureau 39, a legendary organization nestled deep inside the government apparatus. Its aim is to procure foreign exchange by any means possible to provide Kim Jong-un’s regime with money.

Printing dollars, dealing drugs, smuggling arms, insurance fraud, human trafficking – nothing is too unscrupulous for North Korea’s money makers.

Years of research have given us unique access to insiders. They reveal the most spectacular cases and breath-taking tricks of how North Korea has been circumventing UN sanctions to finance its nuclear arsenal for decades.


  • Year: 2020
  • Duration: 58
  • Production: A&O Buero
  • Director: Carl Gierstorfer & Sebastian Weis
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, GER, ESP LATAM
  • Country of production: Germany



  • Visioni Dal Mondo 2020 (Italy), Terra Di Tutti International Film Festival 2020 (Italy), UNAFF 2020 (USA), Millenium International Documentary Festival 2021 (Belgium)

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