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DPRK may have stolen $3 billion with help of hackers to finance nuclear program

DPRK may have stolen $3 billion with help of hackers to finance nuclear program DPRK may have stolen $3 billion for nuclear program (photo: Getty Images)

UN sanctions monitors are investigating dozens of alleged cyberattacks by North Korea that have brought it $3 billion to further its nuclear weapons program, according to Reuters.

"The DPRK continued to flout Security Council sanctions. It further developed nuclear weapons and produced nuclear fissile materials, although its last known nuclear test took place in 2017," a group of independent sanctions monitors of the Security Council committee reported, using the official name of North Korea.

According to them, Pyongyang continued to launch ballistic missiles, put a satellite into orbit, and added a "tactical nuclear attack submarine" to its arsenal.

The 15-member UN Security Council has long banned North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and launching ballistic missiles. Since 2006, it has been subject to UN sanctions, which the Council has repeatedly strengthened in an effort to stop funding the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"The panel is investigating 58 suspected DPRK cyberattacks on cryptocurrency-related companies between 2017 and 2023, valued at approximately $3 billion, which reportedly help fund DPRK's WMD development," the observers write.

According to the sanctions monitors, North Korean hacker groups subordinated to the General Intelligence Bureau (GIB), Pyongyang's main foreign intelligence service, continue to carry out a large number of cyberattacks.

"Trends include DPRK targeting of defense companies and supply chains, and increasingly sharing infrastructure and tools," the observers' report says.

DPRK missile launch

Earlier it was reported that North Korea had launched several cruise missiles off the west coast during the week. Last week, the DPRK claimed to have tested "strategic" cruise missiles, implying that they could be designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Before that, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan, causing concern in Tokyo.

In late January, the White House said that North Korea is trying to develop long-range ballistic missiles and continues to work on military production.