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Government Takes Action: Sanctions on North Korea Targeting Hackers and Leaders

In response to North Korea’s recent long-range ballistic missile launch, the government has designated eight North Koreans involved in illegal cyber activities as targets for independent sanctions against North Korea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on the 27th “In response to North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile launch which seriously threatens peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and the international community we have designated eight North Koreans involved in the trade of sanctioned materials including weapons and illegal cyber activities as targets for independent sanctions against North Korea.”

Previously North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Pyongyang on the morning of the 18th. This is the fifth intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched by North Korea this year.

The targets of these independent sanctions against North Korea include Ri Chang-ho director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau Park Young-han a representative of Beijing New Technology and Yun Cho, former third secretary of the North Korean Embassy in China.

These eight individuals have been involved in earning foreign currency by stealing technology through illegal cyber activities and trading sanctioned materials including weapons contributing to the income generation of the North Korean regime and the fundraising for nuclear and missile development.

In particular, Ri Chang-ho director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau is a figure involved in earning foreign currency and stealing technology through illegal cyber activities. He is the leader of the Reconnaissance General Bureau the organization behind North Korean hacking groups such as Kimsuky, Lazarus, and Andariel.

Representative Park Young-han traded weapons-related items on behalf of the North Korean weapons export company, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), and former third secretary Yun Chol a former North Korean diplomat stationed in China was involved in the trade of Lithium-6, a nuclear-related mineral and UN-sanctioned material against North Korea.

These sanctions are the 14th under the Yoon Suk-yeol government and the 12th this year. With this measure, the number of individuals and organizations targeted by independent sanctions against North Korea designated by the government since last October has increased to 83 individuals and 53 organizations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “Our government has made it clear that there will always be a price to pay for North Korea’s provocation.” It also explained, “We will continue to cooperate more closely with the international community including the United States and Japan to ensure that North Korea realizes this fact stops its provocations and comes out for denuclearization talks.”

By. Je Won Moon

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