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US Senators Urges Biden Administration to Stop North Koreans Bypassing Western Sanctions

In a recent update, the US policymakers drafted a joint report demanding the Biden administration to take potential action against North Koreans engaging in crypto crimes to fund the nuclear program. A report featured in the Wall Street Journal revealed that Senator Elizabeth Warren teamed up with Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen to enquire about the proactive measure the US government has taken to counterattack the unlawful use of crypto assets in North Korea.

The report was shared with the US White House and the Treasury Department, outlining how crypto assets have been used to support North Korea’s illicit activities. The letter was also shared to national security advisor Jake Sullivan and his colleague Brian Nelson, a secretary at the Treasury Department. 

US Targets North Korean Illicit Groups

In February, the Biden administration lamented that the funds used to support the Korean missile program were generated from crypto thefts and cyber security crimes. The US regulators observed from 2018 to date, the North Korean hackers stole crypto assets worth over $3 billion. Undeniably 50% of the stolen funds have been used to fund the nuclear project. 

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The troubled senators lamented that the North Korean bad actors had invested heavily in learning the fundamental principles of digital assets and emerging technologies. For years the North Korean groups has leveraged their darn creativity on crypto assets to violate the regulations.

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In the report, the three legislators observed that the adoption of digital assets in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, has steadily increased. This implies incidences of evasion of sanctions in North Korea have drastically increased.

The senators lamented that violating Western sanctions posed a national security threat to the US. In the submission, the senators demanded to know the implicit action the US has taken to stop the North Korean illicit groups.

According to the letter, the White House officials were required to provide a report outlining suspect individuals or entities supporting the North Korean groups to exchange the currency to either crypto or fiat. The senators also requested the US authority to estimate the revenue generated by the North Korean groups from unlawful crypto transactions.

Unlawful Use of Crypto Assets in North Korea

The North Korean illicit groups have been in the limelight for stealing billions of crypto assets to fund their unlawful projects. Most reported cases involving the North Korean groups have been conducted on crypto platforms such as crypto mixers.

Reportedly the regulators noted that bad players in North Korean engage in susceptible transactions to avoid being in the wrongside of the law.

The rise of criminal activities has compelled the Treasury Department to support the regulators in tracing the stolen assets. On the other hand, the US intelligence unit has been geared towards identifying individuals engaging in unlawful activities such as funding the production of weapons of mass destruction.

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In May, Senator Warren argued that crypto asset was being used to fund the Chinese fentanyl trade. Citing the Elliptic report, Warren observed that brokers in fentanyl trades increased by 450% from 2022. In her statement, the Massachusetts senator vowed to draft regulations to address the potential gaps in crypto laws.


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Kimberly Crain

Kimberly Crain is a seasoned crypto trader and writer, offering valuable insights into the digital asset market. With expertise in trading strategies and a passion for blockchain technology, her concise and informative articles empower readers to navigate the evolving world of cryptocurrencies.

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