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North Korean Cryptocurrency Heists Net Estimated $2 Billion: UN Report

North Korean Cryptocurrency Heists Net Estimated $2 Billion: UN Report

The North Korean government earned as much as $2 billion dollars through a series of cyber attacks to help fund its weapons programs, the United Nations panel has stated in a report. According to a piece reported in CNN, attributed to Joshua Berlinger, Richard Roth, and Yoonjung Seo, the findings from the UN report suggested that the North Korean government used these heists possibly for missile development. The report accuses North Korea of using hackers to conduct “forced illegal transfers of funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges, launder stolen proceeds and created income to avoid international sanctions.

The report was submitted to the US North Korea sanctions committee. The article goes on saying that experts say that North Korea has invested significant resources in developing a sophisticated array of cyber capabilities and a robust network of hackers who have increasingly been used to evade United Nations and US sanctions. Pyongyang has pushed President Trump to phase out sanctions with little progress.

Our Views: The North Korean regime has made promises since 1994 and has followed a pattern of forcing the US and Japan to table gifts of food and energy only to pull out, after years of meetings, from the ongoing talks. No amount of gifts to North Korea will encourage it to make changes in its behavior or to give up its weapons programs. Cyber attacks are now the norm and this puts Japan and especially South Korea in a awkward situation. 

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