Update: After this article went live, Ross Delston and Lourdes Miranda reached out to us and clarified that they had not discovered the rogue state’s activities and had merely suggested on what the state may do. We thank Mr. Delton and Miss Miranda for reaching out to us. We have corrected the error.
North Korea has been charged with using cryptocurrency to evade international sanctions that have been imposed on it since 2006. The charges were announced by the United Nations Security Council recently. According to a yet-to-be published report by news portal Nikkei Asian Review, North Korea reportedly has USD $670 million in crypto which it has been accumulating since 2015.
North Korea has been on the receiving end of multiple United States of America sanctions, ever since it refused to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
Now, North Korea may have a lot of faults especially when it comes to human rights violations, but we don’t believe that a country developing its nuclear weapon program, should be imposed with sanctions. Back in 1998, when India conducted its nuclear test in Pokhran, it had also been subjected to some sanctions by the US.
In September, Crypto-News India, had reported that there were several reports to suggest that North Korea may have been engaging in extensive bitcoin trading to pay off the sanctions.
The story which first appeared in Asia Times, quoted Ross Delston, a Washington-based attorney and expert witness specializing in anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), and Lourdes Miranda, an independent financial intelligence analyst and financial crimes investigator saying, “DPRK can develop their own cryptocurrencies or use established cryptoassets like bitcoin.” They elaborated stating, that creating their own blockchain-based virtual currency “would facilitate their ability to open online accounts under the guise of a non-adversarial nation using anonymous communication to conceal the user’s locations and usage on the internet.”
The duo had also added that DPRK was liable to create its own cryptocurrency wallets as well as virtual bank accounts to carry out cryptocurrency-based transactions with any European-based wallets, minus the Know Your Customer (KYC) process or the troublesome US sanctions.
While we do believe that North Korea is a rogue state and may be dangerous on several grounds, subjecting the country to never-ending sanctions may be detrimental to the world, in the long run.
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