In a Trilateral Meeting, the US, South Korea, and Japan Talk About North Korean Cryptocurrency Theft

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Last Updated on December 9, 2023 by Bitfinsider

The White House said on Friday night that national security officials from the US, South Korea, and Japan talked about North Korea’s efforts to work on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in addition to its cyber thefts.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, the official name for North Korea) and its ongoing weapons of mass destruction program were among the issues discussed during a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, between National Security Advisors Jake Sullivan of the United States, Cho Tae-Yong of the Republic of Korea, and Takeo Akiba of Japan.

“The National Security Advisors reviewed progress on a wide range of trilateral initiatives, including the Commitment to Consult on regional crises, the sharing of ballistic missile defense data, and our collective efforts to respond to the DPRK’s use of cryptocurrency to generate revenue for its illicit WMD programs,” according to the report.

According to the readout, the three officials also spoke about North Korea’s relationship with Russia. Numerous governmental organizations have taken notice of North Korea’s theft of cryptocurrency valued at billions of dollars from different industry initiatives. The DPRK-affiliated hacker group Lazarus Group was accused by the US authorities of stealing over $600 million from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge in the previous year.

Multiple mixers that the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department claims North Korean hackers used to transfer stolen monies have been sanctioned. Two crypto addresses connected to the Sinbad mixer were added by OFAC just this week. International police officers also worked together to take down Sinbad’s website.

Additionally, OFAC has barred a number of wallet addresses and individuals from the dollar-based global financial system on the grounds that they have similarly assisted North Korea in its efforts to finance its weapons program through the laundering of stolen monies.

Most notably, Tornado Cash, a privacy tool, was sanctioned by OFAC after it was claimed that over $100 million worth of cryptocurrency had been transferred through the mixing service.

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