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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diplomatic_missions_of_North_Korea

I was looking at the article and noticed that North Korea has an embassy with Germany surprisingly enough. Knowing that there's very little trade going on between North Korea and Germany, I was wondering if it made any sense to not close down its embassy in Germany. Did North Korea's diplomatic mission in Germany achieve anything noteworthy?

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The question can be easily answered from the German Wikipedia article. Additionally, the article Deutsch-nordkoreanische Beziehungen has a lot of details; there even is a short english version.

The embassy was opened in 1954 in East Berlin, as part of the diplomatic relation to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), established in 1949. There were no diplomatic relations to the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) before German reunification.

In times of the Cold War, North Korea was part of the socialist block and tried to develop relations to allies both of the Sovjet Union and of China. After the death of Stalin, relations to the Sovjet Union and the Warsaw Pact detoriated, but North Korea tried to maintain at least trade relations, partially even to intensify them. It wasn't until the mid-1960s that it promoted the Juche ideology and its emphasis on self-reliance. Both Kim Il-Sung and Erich Honnecker visted the other country two times during the seventies and eighties. In 1984, a treaty of friendship was signed. As late as 1988 several hundred North Korean workers were trained in East Germany on textile machines, and others studied machine tool manufacturing. All the details you might want to know are available in the dissertation North Korea's handling with Dependency and Security Risk – The example of bilateral relations with the GDR, especially pp. 272–282 on the role of the North Korean embassy. The following concluding remarks sum it up:

Die Botschaft der KVDR in Berlin fungierte hauptsächlich als Kontrollorgan für die koreanischen Staatsbürger, die in der DDR lebten. Darüber hinaus wurde sie von der Regierung in P’yŏngyang genutzt, um ihre eigene Propaganda zu vertreiben und teilweise auch illegale Geschäfte zu tätigen...

[Es] stellt sich die Frage, wie wichtig die DDR für Nordkorea eigentlich war. Zunächst war sie kein direkter Nachbar wie China oder die UdSSR...Auf der anderen Seite war der Entwicklungsunterschied zwischen beiden Ländern so bedeutend, dass die nordkoreanische Seite ein großes Interesse daran hatte, mit der DDR zusammenzuarbeiten, bzw. von ihrem Wissensvorsprung zu profitieren....

[Es war der] Sektor Wirtschaft, der die DDR für Nordkorea interessant machte, und in diesem Bereich lassen sich auch Nordkoreas größte Abhängigkeiten von der DDR identifizieren...Zunächst waren es die unentgeltlichen Hilfsprojekte, die Nordkorea im Wiederaufbau seiner Wirtschaft abhängig von der DDR machten. Dazu zählten nicht nur die Versorgung mit Massenbedarfsgütern und Geldspenden, sondern auch die Ausbildung von Studenten und Lehrlingen, die den großen Fachkräftemangel in Nordkorea beheben sollten, und der Wiederaufbau der Stadt Hamhŭng. Aber auch in der Folgezeit blieben Abhängigkeiten von der DDR bestehen, die sich über Kreditersuchen und vor allem über die wissenschaftlich-technische Zusammenarbeit äußerten. Besonders in den 1980er Jahren war Nordkorea...darauf angewiesen, Hochtechnologie aus der DDR zu importieren, beziehungsweise immaterielle Leistungen, wie z.B. Lizenzen, zu beziehen...

Nordkoreas Umgang mit diesen vorhandenen Abhängigkeiten zeigt, dass die Führung in P‘yŏngyang immer wieder versuchte, sich daraus zu lösen, indem sie sich ihrerseits das vorhandene Interesse der DDR, z.B. an den Buntmetallen, zu Nutze machte. Gleichzeitig schreckte sie auch nicht davor zurück, über Praktikanten und Wissenschaftler Industriespionage zu betreiben, um den Wissensvorsprung der DDR zu egalisieren.

The embassy of the DPRK in Berlin functioned mainly as a control body for Korean citizens living in the GDR. In addition, it was used by the government in P'yŏngyang to distribute its own propaganda and, in some cases, to conduct illegal business...

[It] raises the question of how important the GDR actually was for North Korea. First of all, it was not a direct neighbour like China or the USSR...On the other hand, the difference in development between the two countries was so significant that the North Korean side had a great interest in cooperating with the GDR, or benefiting from its knowledge advantage....

[It was the] sector of the economy that made the GDR interesting for North Korea, and it is in this sector that North Korea's greatest dependencies on the GDR can also be identified...Initially, it was the gratuitous aid projects that made North Korea dependent on the GDR in the reconstruction of its economy. These included not only the supply of bulk commodities and monetary donations, but also the training of students and apprentices to remedy the great shortage of skilled workers in North Korea, and the reconstruction of the city of Hamhŭng. However, dependencies on the GDR also remained in the subsequent period, which were expressed through requests for loans and, above all, scientific and technical cooperation. Especially in the 1980s, North Korea...was dependent on importing high technology from the GDR, or on obtaining intangible services, such as licences....

North Korea's handling of these existing dependencies shows that the leadership in P'yŏngyang repeatedly tried to extricate itself from them by taking advantage of the GDR's existing interest, e.g. in non-ferrous metals. At the same time, it did not shy away from conducting industrial espionage via interns and scientists in order to equalise the GDR's knowledge advantage.

In 1990, the embassy in Berlin closed because of the lack of diplomatic relations to Germany. A trade delegation remained under the name of "Office for the Protection of the Interests of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (Büro für den Schutz der Interessen der Demokratischen Volksrepublik Korea). From Wikipedia:

Am 1. März 2001 nahmen Nordkorea und die Bundesrepublik Deutschland diplomatische Beziehungen auf. Allerdings haben bislang keine Besuche von deutschen Regierungsdelegationen auf Ministerebene in Nordkorea stattgefunden. Es existieren keine Abkommen über eine finanzielle, wirtschaftliche, wissenschaftliche oder technologische Zusammenarbeit. Im Oktober 2002 wurden ein Luftverkehrsabkommen und ein Investitionsförderungs- und Schutzvertrag paraphiert, dessen Unterzeichnung ausgesetzt ist.

North Korea and the Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations on 1 March 2001. However, no visits by German government delegations at ministerial level have taken place in North Korea. There are no agreements on financial, economic, scientific or technological cooperation. In October 2002 an air transport agreement and an investment promotion and protection agreement were were initialled, the signing of which is suspended.

(Translations by DeepL)

Between 2004 and 2020 North Korea rented out its building as a hostel to generate foreign currency. Both the UN sanctions and questions of taxation led, after a lengthy legal struggle, to its closure.

Apparently the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (as the inland counter-intelligence agency) suspects that North Korea uses the embassy to procure parts for the construction of rockets.

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