US Sanctions North Korea Cyber Acts

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The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned four entities and one individual involved in obfuscated revenue generation and malicious cyber activities that support the North Korean government.

North Korea conducts malicious cyber activities and deploys information technology workers who fraudulently obtain employment to generate revenue, including in virtual currency, to support the Kim regime and its priorities, such as its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, according to OFAC.

The new US sanctions are being coordinated with the South Korean government, which is concurrently taking sanctions action against overseas North Korean IT workers, by jointly designating the individual and one of the entities sanctioned by Treasury. Seoul has already sanctions the other three entities.

Being sanctioned by the United States are Pyongyang University of Automation, Reconnaissance General Bureau-controlled Technical Reconnaissance Bureau and its subordinate cyber unit, the 110th Research Center and Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company, also known as Jinyong IT Cooperation Company.

The State Department and South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs today are co-hosting a joint symposium on stopping North Korean sanctions evasion in the remote IT work industry. The symposium is being held in San Francisco as part of the two allies’ ongoing efforts to both curb the North Korea’s attempts to earn revenue for its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and to raise awareness of North Korean workers’ rights.