Tuesday, February 09, 2021
UN: Money from cyber attacks
North Korea continues to upgrade nuclear power
According to the UN, North Korea, which is largely isolated internationally, is systematically subverting sanctions. Among other things, the arsenal of nuclear weapons is being modernized and expanded. The country then openly displays the results – for example at its parades.
According to an internal UN report, North Korea is pressing ahead with its nuclear program despite international sanctions. The autocracy has continued to maintain and develop “its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in violation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council”, according to a report by a panel of experts at the United Nations.
Even if neither nuclear nor ballistic missile tests were reported in 2020, North Korea continues to produce “fissile material, maintain nuclear facilities and improve its ballistic missile infrastructure”. In the meantime, it is looking for the necessary materials and know-how abroad, it said.
The nuclear program is apparently financed, among other things, by hacking activities carried out directly by the North Korean secret service. These recently targeted “virtual asset paths and asset managers” and defense companies. In addition, the country of ruler Kim Jong Un has systematically circumvented the UN sanctions, including the limited import of processed oil and other substances, for example by transferring the goods between ships at sea.
Show of force for Biden’s inauguration
The UN experts also emphasize in the report that the leadership in Pyongyang shows “new ballistic missile systems with short range, medium range, submarine launch capabilities and ICBMs” in military parades. The government has also announced the testing and production of new warheads for ballistic missiles and the development of tactical nuclear weapons.
The country, isolated because of its nuclear weapons program, has been developing and testing various missile types of all ranges that can be launched from land or water for many years. Submarine missiles are more difficult to catch by the enemy.
North Korea’s most recent military parade, and previously the eight-day party congress, were held shortly before the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden – at a time when US negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program were stuck. During the Congress, Kim identified the United States as the main enemy. He also announced that his country would strengthen nuclear deterrence with new weapons, including new ICBMs. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump failed to influence Kim’s nuclear program despite several meetings with Kim.