Was North Korea’s vital ‘transformation computer’ taken in raid on Madrid embassy?

The group of men who briefly took control of the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February are believed to have made off with vital decryption computers that Pyongyang needs to communicate with its diplomatic missions and agents overseas, according to a former North Korean diplomat.

Thae Yong-ho, who was the deputy head of the North Korean embassy in London until he defected with his family in 2016, said in a post on his website that the “transformation computer” that was apparently taken “is considered more important than human lives”.

The loss of the equipment potentially compromises the unbreakable code that Pyongyang uses to relay its orders overseas, Mr Thae said, and would “critically harm” the regime.