According to a statement from the White House, national security officials from the US, South Korea, and Japan have held a meeting regarding crypto thefts centered around North Korea.
Historic Meeting for Crypto Security
The statement from the White House indicated that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Korean Republic National Security Advisor Cho Tae-Yong, and Japan National Security Advisor Takeo Akiba gathered in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, for a meeting centered on North Korea.
The statement regarding the meeting was as follows:
National Security Advisors reviewed progress in various trilateral initiatives, including our joint efforts to respond to the use of cryptocurrency by North Korea to generate revenue for its illegal weapons of mass destruction programs. The commitment to consult on regional crises and the sharing of ballistic missile defense data was also covered.
The meeting, which also holds importance for the future of cryptocurrencies, stated that the three officials jointly addressed North Korea’s relations with Russia.
The theft of billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency from various projects within the crypto sector by North Korea-centered groups has greatly disturbed the related institutions of the world’s leading states. The US government had stated that the Lazarus Group, which is affiliated with North Korea and perhaps the world’s largest crypto hacker group, stole over $600 million from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge last year.
Increasing Penalties in the US
Following this process, some institutions were fined by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Sanctions were also applied to mixers used to carry and lose the trace of funds stolen by North Korean computer hackers.
Last week, OFAC added two crypto addresses linked to the Sinbad mixer to the penalty list. After participation from many countries, officials also seized Sinbad’s website through joint efforts.
Perhaps the most famous among them, Tornado Cash also received its share from OFAC. Tornado Cash was included in the list of those sanctioned during this process and was accused of facilitating the disappearance of $100 million.
Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev, who are part of the project’s development team, are currently facing charges in the US and Netherlands in connection with their work on Tornado Cash. In addition, another developer, Roman Semenov, was charged with money laundering and sanctions violations, but no arrest warrant was issued against him.