NEWS: North Korea
Funding of a missile program by stolen cryptos, according to several reports.

A railway-born missile is launched during firing drills according to state media, at an undisclosed location in North Korea, in this photo released January 14, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
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North Kore­an cyber­at­tacks have stolen mil­lions of dol­lars worth of cryp­tocur­ren­cy to fund the coun­try’s mis­sile pro­grams, accord­ing to a UN media report.

Between 2020 and mid-2021, cyber attack¬≠ers stole more than $50 mil¬≠lion worth of dig¬≠i¬≠tal assets, inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tors have found.

Such attacks are a ‚Äúsig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cant source of rev¬≠enue‚ÄĚ for Pyongyang‚Äôs nuclear and bal¬≠lis¬≠tic mis¬≠sile pro¬≠gram, they said.

The find­ings were report­ed­ly sub­mit­ted to the UN Sanc­tions Com­mit­tee on Friday.

The cyber¬≠at¬≠tacks tar¬≠get¬≠ed at least three cryp¬≠tocur¬≠ren¬≠cy exchanges in North Amer¬≠i¬≠ca, Europe and Asia.

The report also ref¬≠er¬≠ences a study pub¬≠lished last month by secu¬≠ri¬≠ty firm Chainal¬≠y¬≠sis which sug¬≠gest¬≠ed that North Kore¬≠an cyber¬≠at¬≠tacks could have yield¬≠ed up to $400 mil¬≠lion in dig¬≠i¬≠tal assets last year.

And in 2019, the UN report­ed that North Korea had racked up around $2 bil­lion for its weapons of mass destruc­tion pro­grams using sophis­ti­cat­ed cyber attacks.

North Korea has been banned by the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil from con­duct­ing nuclear tests and launch­ing bal­lis­tic missiles.

How­ev­er, the UN report says that despite crip­pling sanc­tions, North Korea has been able to con­tin­ue to devel­op its nuclear and bal­lis­tic mis­sile infrastructure.

It also con­tin­ued to seek equip­ment, tech­nol­o­gy and know-how abroad, espe­cial­ly through com­put­er means and joint sci­en­tif­ic research.

Sanc¬≠tions mon¬≠i¬≠tors said there had been a ‚Äúmarked accel¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion‚ÄĚ of mis¬≠sile test¬≠ing by Pyongyang.

The Unit¬≠ed States said on Fri¬≠day that North Korea ‚ÄĒ offi¬≠cial¬≠ly known as the Demo¬≠c¬≠ra¬≠t¬≠ic Peo¬≠ple‚Äôs Repub¬≠lic of Korea (DPRK) ‚ÄĒ had con¬≠duct¬≠ed nine mis¬≠sile tests in the past month alone. .

‚ÄúThe DPRK has demon¬≠strat¬≠ed increased rapid deploy¬≠ment capa¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ties, high mobil¬≠i¬≠ty (includ¬≠ing at sea) and improved resilience of its mis¬≠sile forces,‚ÄĚ the sanc¬≠tions mon¬≠i¬≠tors said.

On Fri­day, Chi­na and Rus­sia refused to sign a state­ment con­demn­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of North Kore­an mis­sile launches.

On Sun­day, the Unit­ed States announced that its spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for North Korea would meet with Japan­ese and South Kore­an offi­cials lat­er this week to dis­cuss the situation.

The UN report also found that the human­i­tar­i­an sit­u­a­tion in North Korea con­tin­ued to dete­ri­o­rate. He said this was like­ly the result of the coun­try’s deci­sion to close its bor­ders dur­ing the pandemic.

A lack of infor¬≠ma¬≠tion from North Korea meant it was dif¬≠fi¬≠cult to deter¬≠mine the extent of the suf¬≠fer¬≠ing caused by inter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al sanc¬≠tions, he said.

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