North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programs throughout 2020 in violation of international sanctions, helping fund them with some $300 million stolen through cyber hacks, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by Reuters on Monday.
North Korea bolstered its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in 2020 using stolen funds, a violation of international sanctions, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by Reuters on Monday.
The independent report concluded that North Korea stole some $300 million last year through cyber hacks.
It added that Pyongyang has used the money to “Produce fissile material, maintain nuclear facilities and upgrade their ballistic missile infrastructure.” In the past year, North Korea boasted new ballistic missiles at military parades.
Judging by the size of them, an unnamed UN member state assessed in the report that it’s “likely” a nuclear device could be attached.
Independent sanctions monitors compiled the annual report to the UN Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee, which comes just weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden took office.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson said on Monday the Biden administration planned a new approach to North Korea.
Alongside allies, the White House will review “ongoing pressure options and the potential for any future diplomacy.” Former President Donald Trump failed to make progress on negotiations with North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Trump met three times in 2018 and 2019, but Pyongyang refused to give up its nuclear weapons.
While there’ve been no nuclear or ballistic weapons tests in 2020, North Korea says they're preparing to test and produce new, nuclear war heads.