UN Body Coordinator Calls For Greater Focus On North Korea’s Cyber Crimes

The coordinator for the UN body monitoring enforcement of sanctions on North Korea said on Wednesday a stepped-up focus was needed on cybercrime, which had become fundamental to Pyongyang’s ability to finance its banned weapons programs. Eric Penton-Voak, of the UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts on North Korea, noted that despite the widest sanctions regime ever imposed by the United Nations on a nation-state, North Korea had markedly accelerated its missile testing, particularly over the past six months. “It may be no coincidence that the words cyber and crypto-currency do not actually appear in the UN sanctions resolutions,” he told a discussion hosted by Washington’s Center for a New American Security think tank. Mr. Penton-Voak said he believed cyber activity had become “absolutely fundamental” to North Korea’s ability to evade UN sanctions to raise money for its nuclear and missile programs, but biannual reports of the experts’ panel had not reflected this as member states had been reluctant to report breaches.

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