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Cryptocurrencies. North Korean hackers allegedly stole up to a billion dollars

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North Korean hackers stole a record-breaking cryptocurrency worth more than a billion dollars last year, and Pyongyang may be sending military communications equipment to Russia, according to a new report submitted to the UN Security Council and reported on Friday by the Nikkei Asia website.

The report, presented this week by a panel of sanctions enforcement experts, estimated the value of cryptocurrencies stolen by North Korea at between $630 million and over $1 billion, more than twice as much as in 2021. “The country is using increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques, both to access digital networks related to cyber finance, as well as to steal information that has potential value, for example, for its arms program,” the panel of experts assessed in the report.

Call for action against money laundering

In the report member states of the Security Council were summoned UNto adopt the anti-money laundering guidelines developed by the Financial Action Task Force to prevent the use of virtual assets to procure weapons of mass destruction. Experts also raised the issue of the investigation into the alleged the export of military communications equipment to the attacker Ukraine Russia. They also stated that they had also begun to investigate reports of ammunition supplies to the Russian army. According to experts, the problem also remains the illegal export of coal from North Korea and the importation of other goods into the countryconducted by means of ship-to-ship transshipment in North Korean territorial waters.

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North Korea accelerates with missile tests

As determined, Pyongyang’s ballistic missile development program “continued to accelerate drastically“.

In 2022, the regime fired 73 missiles, including eight intercontinental missiles. The increase in activity at the Pungje-Ri nuclear test site and other indicators also suggest an intensification of work on nuclear weapons.

The presence of the daughter of the country’s leader Kim Jong Un during a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in November 2022, it appears to underline “the state’s message about the irreversible nature of its ICBM and nuclear weapons development programs,” it said.

Kim Jong Un watched a missile test with his daughter Reuters

Although such reports are not binding, the Security Council and its individual members have in the past introduced new sanctions against individuals and organizations on the basis of them, Nikkei Asia points out. However, Japanese and South Korean media reported that the tightening of sanctions against Pyongyang is blocked at the UN Security Council China and Russiawhich have veto power there.

The Council held 10 meetings last year on North Korea’s ballistic missile tests, but due to opposition from China and Russia has not issued any formal document, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Main photo source: PAP/Newscom

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