Friday night, the White House readout announced that U.S., South Korean and Japanese National Security Advisors had met in Seoul, South Korea to address North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its crypto thefts. Jake Sullivan, Cho Tae-Yong and Takeo Akiba discussed the DPRK’s use of cryptocurrency to generate revenue for its illicit WMD programs and other trilateral initiatives, such as the Commitment to Consult on regional crises and the sharing of ballistic missile defense data.
The readout also mentioned the three advisors’ discussion on North Korea’s relationship with Russia. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has taken steps to counter North Korean hackers’ attempts to move stolen funds, such as sanctioning multiple mixers and seizing the website of Sinbad mixer. OFAC has also blacklisted individuals and wallet addresses for allegedly laundering stolen funds to support North Korea’s weapons program, including the privacy tool Tornado Cash. Two of the project’s developers, Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev, are facing charges in the U.S. and the Netherlands respectively. The third, Roman Semenov, has been charged with money laundering and sanctions violations, but has not yet been arrested.