United States, Japan and South Korea Discuss North Korea's Crypto Theft and Weapons Program
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United States, Japan and South Korea Discuss North Korea's Crypto Theft and Weapons Program

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National security officials from the United States, South Korea, and Japan convened to address North Korea's cryptocurrency thefts and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

United States, Japan and South Korea Discuss North Korea's Crypto Theft and Weapons Program
National security officials from the United States, South Korea, and Japan convened to address North Korea's cryptocurrency thefts and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as announced by the White House on Friday night.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Republic of Korea National Security Advisor Cho Tae-Yong, and Japan National Security Advisor Takeo Akiba met in Seoul, South Korea to discuss various issues, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly known as North Korea, and its ongoing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program.

The meeting involved a review of progress on trilateral initiatives, such as the Commitment to Consult on regional crises and the sharing of ballistic missile defense data. They also discussed collective efforts to respond to North Korea's use of cryptocurrency to fund its illicit WMD programs.

The international community has been closely monitoring North Korea's cryptocurrency-related activities. The U.S. government previously accused the Lazarus Group, a hacking entity linked to the DPRK, of stealing over $600 million from Axie Infinity's Ronin Bridge in 2022.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on multiple cryptocurrency mixers allegedly used by North Korean hackers to launder stolen funds. Recently, OFAC added two crypto addresses associated with the Sinbad mixer to its sanctions list, and law enforcement agencies from multiple countries seized Sinbad's website. The OFAC's sanctions list also includes the privacy tool Tornado Cash, which was accused of laundering over $100 million in stolen cryptocurrency.

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