Reuters has received an unpublished a report from UN sanctions monitors that claims North Korea stole $3 billion worth of cryptocurrency in a huge hack.
Reuters reports that an independent panel of sanctions monitors found that North Korea persisted in disobeying laws and increasing its nuclear arsenal and fissile material production despite international restrictions.
Along with deploying a “tactical nuclear assault submarine” and launching ballistic missiles, the government also managed to get a satellite into orbit, according to the observers.
According to the United Nations study, crypto-related businesses were the target of 58 cyberattacks with a combined worth of around $3 billion between 2017 and 2023. The purported proceeds from these assaults were vital in enabling North Korea to further its WMD program.
According to the study, the cyber attacks were carried out by hacker gangs that are associated with North Korea’s main foreign intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.
The observers noted that North Korea has been increasingly focusing on supply chains and military industries, while also working with other players to share infrastructure and capabilities. The study expresses alarm about allegations that North Korea is providing conventional weapons and ammunition, which goes against the current restrictions.
Despite the impending public publication of the UN report maybe later this month or early next, the North Korean representation to the UN has failed to address inquiries for comment about the accusations made by the sanctions monitors.
In light of the Security Council’s history of delays on the matter, Reuters reports that swift action against North Korea is very improbable.
In an effort to “persuade” North Korea to resume disarmament negotiations, Russia and China have pushed for sanctions relief. In addition, despite denials of weapons shipments by both Russia and North Korea, the two nations have lately promised to enhance military ties.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, North Korea has reportedly started to breakout. A rise in trade volume from 2022 to 2023 is one indicator of a possible trade rebound, according to the UN research.