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N. Korea stole cryptocurrency worth USD 316.4 mn to update its Nuke: UN

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
N. Korea stole cryptocurrency worth USD 316.4 mn to update its Nuke: UN

United Nations: To modernised its banned nuclear and ballistic missiles programme North Korea by flaunting United Nations sanctions, has reportedly stolen more than $300 million worth of cryptocurrencies through cyberattacks in recent months, UN experts have claimed.

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The panel of experts monitoring sanctions on Pyongyang, compiled a report and sent that to UN Security Council members on Monday stating the North Korea’s “total theft of virtual assets from 2019 to November 2020 is valued at approximately USD 316.4 million.”

The panel in its reports said that their investigations found that North Korean-linked cyber attackers continued to conduct operations in 2020 against financial institutions and virtual currency exchange houses to generate money for Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.

In its mass destruction weapons development, the experts said, Kim Jong-Un’s government has also produced fissile material, an essential ingredient for producing nuclear weapons, and maintained its nuclear facilities.

“It displayed new short-range, medium-range, submarine-launched and intercontinental ballistic missile systems at military parades,’’ they said. “It announced preparation for testing and production of new ballistic missile warheads and, development of tactical nuclear weapons … And upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure.”

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The panel also recommended that the UN Security Council impose sanctions on four North Korean men: Choe Song Chol, Im Song Sun, Pak Hwa Song, and Hwang Kil Su.

Since its first test explosion of a nuclear device in 2006, North Korea has been under UN Security Council’s tough sanctions and has undergone exports and imports bans in an order to pressure Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

However, based on the report’s summary and some key findings and recommendations, North Korea remains able to evade sanctions and develop its weapons and to illicitly import refined petroleum, access international banking channels and carry out ‘malicious cyber activities.’

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