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At the request of the U.S., Germany has intercepted a shipment of chemicals which can be used to make chemical weapons, reports the German weekly Der Spiegel.

Some 30 tons of sodium cyanide were officially being shipped by a German company to a Singapore warehouse, but Washington believes the material was headed for North Korea.

Sodium cyanide, commonly used in the treatment of metals, is also a key ingredient in the manufacture of the deadly nerve gas Tabun (dimethylphosphoramido-cyanidate).

In its issue now hitting newsstands, Der Spiegel says Germany’s intelligence service issued a warning last week about attempts by North Korea to get ahold of banned material under cover of businesses based in China and Singapore, according to an Agence France-Presse summary.

European news agencies say Berlin last month intercepted a shipment of German-made aluminum tubes likely destined for use in North Korea’s nuclear program.

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