Bond investigates North Korean Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, who is illegally trading African conflict diamonds for weapons. Moon is apparently killed and Bond is captured and tortured for 14 months, after which he is exchanged for Zao, Moon's assistant. Despite being suspended on his return, he decides to complete his mission and tracks down Zao to a gene therapy clinic, where patients can have their appearances altered through DNA restructuring. Zao escapes, but the trail leads to British billionaire Gustav Graves.
Graves unveils a mirror satellite, "Icarus", which is able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for crop development. Bond discovers that Moon has also undergone the gene therapy and has assumed the identity of Graves. Bond then exposes Moon's plan: to use the Icarus as a sun gun to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with concentrated sunlight, allowing North Korean troops to invade South Korea and reunite the countries through force. Bond disables the Icarus controls, kills Moon and stops the invasion.