North Koreans Used $300 Million in Stolen Cryptocurrency to Fund Nuclear Weapon Program Claims UN

A draft report by a UN expert panel disclosed that North Korea allegedly stole more than $300 million worth of cryptocurrencies through cyberattacks in recent months to fund its nuclear weapons programs.

(North Korea’s)  “total theft of virtual assets from 2019 to November 2020 is valued at approximately $316.4 million,” claimed one unspecified member state.

The panel said that they are investigating whether Pyongyang was involved in a hack against a cryptocurrency exchange that stole around $281 million last September plus a $23 million hack the next month.

Preliminary analysis, based on the attack vectors and subsequent efforts to launder the illicit proceeds strongly suggests links to the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea),” said the panel.

With the stolen money, the report further explained that North Korea reportedly used it and “produced fissile material, maintained nuclear facilities and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure.”

Pyongyang has long been suspected by international institutions to operate an army of well-trained hackers who have attacked firms, institutions, and researchers in South Korea and Japan several times.

Despite being under UN nuclear weapon sanctions, North Korea has continued to display its developed weaponry and announced  “preparation for testing and production of new ballistic missile warheads and, development of tactical nuclear weapons.” 

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