The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, launched its second intercontinental ballistic missile in November – and eighth so far this year - just hours before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, Economic Leaders’ Meeting opened in Bangkok. "This conduct by North Korea... is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions," Vice President Kamala Harris said during a meeting she called with allies at the forum. "It destabilizes security in the region and unnecessarily raises tensions."
So far, the DPRK has launched over 80 missiles this year, including more than 60 ballistic missiles. But its missiles are not the only danger it poses to the international community. As Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies said at remarks at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, “North Korea’s cyber activity is of significant concern.” She said the United States had identified “a number of North Korea cyber-attacks against cryptocurrency infrastructure that we believe netted North Korea vast sums of money.”
In recent testimony before the Senate, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas noted that in the last two years alone, the DPRK has partly funded its weapons of mass destruction programs through cyber-enabled heists of cryptocurrencies and hard currencies totaling more than $1 billion dollars.
On November 17 in Seoul, the United States and the Republic of Korea held a joint government-private sector forum on how to counter the DPRK’s cryptocurrency theft and other illicit cyber activities. Hundreds of participants from over a dozen countries attended. Topics included types of DPRK cryptocurrency malware, known cryptocurrency laundering techniques, and cybersecurity best practices.
In a written statement after the symposium, the State Department affirmed, “The United States is committed to disrupting illicit DPRK revenue generation activities worldwide, including its cyber operations, which support the DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction program, may facilitate criminal activity, and threaten international peace and security and the global nonproliferation regime. The full implementation of DPRK-related UN Security Council resolutions by all countries is crucial to a successful diplomatic outcome.”