North Korea Backs Nuclear Programs with Stolen Crypto: UN Report
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Feb. 7, 2022

North Korea continues developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by financing them with stolen cryptocurrency, Reuters has learned, citing a confidential United Nations report. Experts admit that even though no nuclear tests or launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles were reported last year, North Korea is still developing "its capability for production of nuclear fissile materials."

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"Maintenance and development of DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile infrastructure continued, and DPRK continued to seek material, technology and know-how for these programs overseas, including through cyber means and joint scientific research," the report said.

North Korea's mission to the United Nations did not clarify though how exactly the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is capitalizing on stolen cryptocurrency nor who is involved in a chain of money laundering for financing nuclear programs.

North Korea-linked Hackers Laundered $91M after Hack

In August 2020, the US Department of Justice issued a new report, according to which, North Korean hackers stole millions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrency and laundered assets via the Chinese over-the-counter (OTC) market.

The department states the criminal activity included the theft of $250 million in cryptocurrency through other exchange hacks by North Korean actors. Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division noted that North Korean crypto-focused attacks action publicly demonstrate "the ongoing connections between North Korea’s cyber-hacking program and a Chinese cryptocurrency money laundering network."

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