In a joint statement made on Friday, the United States, South Korea, and Japan voiced their profound worry regarding North Korea’s “malicious” cyber actions that support its weapons programmes.
According to authorities and analysts in the US and its allies, cryptocurrency funds stolen by North Korean hackers have been a crucial source for funding the sanctions-hit nation’s nuclear development.
South Korea’s nuclear envoy met with his American and Japanese counterparts this week in Seoul and denounced the reclusive nation’s recent weapons tests amid growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.
The envoys’ joint statement, using the abbreviation for North Korea’s official name, said, “We reiterate with concern that overseas DPRK IT workers continue using forged identities and nationalities” to dodge UN sanctions and gather funding for missile programmes.
The joint statement urged UN member states to abide by UN Security Council resolutions to repatriate North Korean workers on their soil. It said, “We are also deeply concerned about how the DPRK supports these programmes by stealing and laundering funds as well as gathering information through malicious cyber activities.”
On the Korean Peninsula, tensions are at an all-time high. Since March, American and South Korean military have been engaging in a series of springtime drills.
Pyongyang has been stepping up its military activities in recent weeks, incensed by those military drills. In addition to launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach any location in the United States, it unveiled new, smaller nuclear warheads.
There has been a heated exchange of words as those drills and testing continue. North Korea claimed on Thursday that military exercises conducted by Seoul and Washington had brought the situation to the verge of a nuclear exchange.
North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are “nothing more than a self-destructive boomerang,” according to South Korea’s leading nuclear negotiator Kim Gunn, breaking its economy.
In his discussion with American and Japanese officials, Kim stated, “North Korea is misguiding its people to believe that nuclear weapons are a magic wand that can solve all of its problems.”
Japan announced a two-year extension of its trade embargo against North Korea on Friday, with humanitarian exceptions.