UN Experts: North Korea Using Cyber Attacks to Update Nukes

Nuclear Missile
Nuclear Missile (Representative)

North Korea has modernised its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by flaunting United Nations sanctions, using cyberattacks to help finance its programmes and continuing to seek material and technology overseas for its arsenal, UN experts said.

The panel of experts monitoring sanctions on the Northeast Asian nation said in a report sent to Security Council members Monday that North Korea’s “total theft of virtual assets from 2019 to November 2020 is valued at approximately USD 316.4 million,” according to one unidentified country.

The panel said its investigations found that North Korean-linked cyber actors continued to conduct operations in 2020 against financial institutions and virtual currency exchange houses to generate money to support its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes.

In its weapons development, the experts said, Kim Jong Un’s government has also produced fissile material – an essential ingredient for producing nuclear weapons – and maintained its nuclear facilities.