The controversy surrounding North Korea and nuclear weapons are becoming more convoluted day by day. Just a few days ago the US filed some new sanctions regarding North Korea’s nuclear and missiles programme. However, security analysts are of the belief that it will create little to no effect.
There is intel that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, has ordered technical experts to start gathering bitcoins, either by mining, through ransom payments, or theft from online wallets and exchanges. Current estimates say that North Korea can bypass the imposed financial restriction through the use of cryptocurrency, and they just might have 144 million euros worth digital currencies.
National Security Agency Official, Priscilla Moriuchi, conveyed in an interview about North Korea’s determination and persistence over creating nuclear weapons, “The majority of international and US sanctions thus far have focused on pressure points on territorial North Korea and the North Korean regime. Those sanctions have been ongoing for years and years and years at this point, but the regime has not abandoned its drive to develop ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons.”
She also stated that North Korea has currently gathered over 11,000 Bitcoins by exploiting some sanction loopholes. If the country were to cash in the bitcoins during mid-December – at the peak of its value – they would have made around $151 million. Also, Priscilla adds, there is a current strong belief that the North Korean regime earns more than $200 million through bitcoin to fiat transactions.
A South Korean Internet and Security Agency director, Lee Don-geun, further fills in with certainty that North Korean is evidently behind some attacks lead to virtual currency exchanges.
He further goes on to state how many cyber attacks have been made on South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, and most of these attacks can be traced back to a North Korean counterpart. Don-geun adds, “ We don’t know how much North Korea has stolen so far, but we do know that the police have confirmed the regime’s hacking attempts.”
To further solidify this suspicion, we see how North Korea, despite all the sanction imposed, keep on continuing on their plans to create nuclear ballistics.