Featured North Korea

North Koreans Accused of Laundering $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Program

North Korean and Chinese citizens are operating a multibillion-dollar money laundering scheme to help fund the North’s nuclear weapons program, the Justice Department said in an indictment unsealed on Thursday. The case underscores the Trump administration’s inability to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program through diplomacy. The department charged 28… Read More

U.S. sanctions advisory raises hurdles for global maritime industry

Ship owners and insurers say it may be impossible for the maritime industry to fully comply with the Trump administration’s new guidelines on how to avoid sanctions penalties related to Iran, North Korea and Syria, raising the risk of disruptions in a sector already struggling with the fallout of the… Read More

US Prosecutors Target Foreign Bank Records in North Korean Cyber Hunt

Headlines about Kim Jung Un’s absence from the public sphere drew attention away from other important North Korea developments in recent weeks. Among them was the publication of a UN Panel of Experts report, in April 2020, chock full of examples of sanctions evasion facilitated by nationals of UN… Read More
1st May 2020
The message from Dubai in late 2018 wasn’t unusual. It’s just part of the day for Alejandro Cao de Benós to open his email and find some intrepid capitalist who wants to do a little business in North Korea. Recently, there was the one from a guy in Hawaii who… Read More
23rd April 2020
The UN Security Council is calling for digitisation of shipping documents, stricter know-your-customer requirements and restrictions on individual vessels, after uncovering North Korea’s extensive ability to evade sanctions on petrol, coal, sand and other commodities. A UN report finalised in March and seen by GTR says satellite imagery has revealed… Read More
20th April 2020
AP — U.N. experts have recommended blacklisting 14 vessels for violating sanctions against North Korea in a report that accuses the country of increasing illegal coal exports, imports of petroleum products and continuing with cyber attacks on financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges to gain illicit revenue. The 267-page report, obtained… Read More
16th April 2020
The United States accused North Korea on Wednesday of employing an array of old and new forms of cyberattacks to steal and launder money, extort companies and use digital currencies to gain cash for its nuclear weapons program. The report — issued jointly by the State Department, the Department of… Read More
10th April 2020
Experts looking at how North Korea continues to import and export goods despite numerous sanctions agree the country’s $1.5 billion cryptocurrency war chest is used to fund an illicit web of trade networks and supply chains. Blockchain analytics company Chainalysis said it is “comfortable” with the $1.5 billion figure stated… Read More
27th March 2020
President Trump has called the coronavirus “the invisible enemy.” But when it comes to sanctions on North Korea, the pathogen may turn out to be his administration’s most effective ally. North Korea’s fear of coronavirus infection appears to have achieved what Mr. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korean… Read More
27th March 2020
AP — Eight countries under unilateral sanctions, mainly from the United States and European Union, urged U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday to request the immediate and complete lifting of those measures to enable the nations to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. In a joint letter obtained by The Associated Press,… Read More
10th March 2020
North Korea has evaded United Nations sanctions for many months by exporting coal, sand and petroleum, and importing luxury goods including armored sedans, alcohol and robotic machinery. The findings are based on an upcoming U.N. report, other assessments using satellite images and shipping data, and interviews with analysts. The exports… Read More
6th March 2020
For several months last year, a steady stream of ships was observed dredging sand in a North Korean bay then transporting it to China, a Washington-based think-tank said on Wednesday. The extraction of sand from North Korea to China would violate a 2017 U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits North… Read More
3rd March 2020
The Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, an event which led last year to the controversial arrest and indictment of Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith for sanctions violations, was scheduled to take place again between 22–29 February. While the conference was always liable to postponement amid COVID-19 panic and… Read More