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North Korea is spending crypto for nuclear missiles

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On 4 February, independent observers submitted a report to the UN Security Council about sanctions against North Korea. Experts have found that the country’s government finances the development of nuclear missiles using cryptocurrencies.

Reuters: North Korea is spending crypto for nuclear missiles

Reuters has gained access to a document stating that North Korean hackers stole more than $ 50 million worth of digital assets from at least three exchanges between early 2020 and mid-2021. The total amount of funds raised as a result of the cyber attacks on the crypto platforms reached $ 400 million.

“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.

Observers said that “cyber attacks, especially on cryptocurrency assets, remain an important source of revenue for North Korea” and also received information that North Korean hackers are not slowing down.

North Korea is cut off from the global financial system as a result of sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries. Because of this, they have to steal crypto, so that they can finance an arms program and other activities aimed at destabilizing the situation in the world. 

Nick Carlsen, blockchain analyst at TRM Labs

Chainalysis’s report last month said North Korea had been responsible for at least seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms last year, gaining nearly $ 400 million worth of digital assets.

The North Korean government has spent some of its stolen digital assets on its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development program. Thanks to the stolen equipment, the army was able to test the missile for liquid and solid fuels of short and possibly medium range.

Since 2006, North Korea has been subject to UN sanctions, which the Security Council has strengthened over the years to focus on financing Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Sanctions observers noted that Pyongyang missile testing had “significantly accelerated”.

The United States and others said on Friday that North Korea had fired nine ballistic missile launches in January, adding that it was the largest number in a single month in the history of WMD and missile development programs.

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