National security officials in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea are working together on a trilateral initiative to address increasing cyber criminal activities and cryptocurrency money laundering by North Korea.
According to Bloomberg, the three countries also discussed North Korea’s relationship with Russia. The U.S. and South Korea previously alleged that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was providing ammunition for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, while Moscow in turn was supporting the DPRK’s military operation.
Meanwhile, North Korean-sponsored hackers such as Lazarus Group have been behind some high-profile hacks in the crypto industry that affected platforms such as Axie Infinity and Harmony, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars.
According to earlier claims by the U.S. government, North Korea was channeling illicit funds from crypto thefts and other cyberattacks into its missile development.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury also recently sanctioned crypto mixer Sinbad, alleging that cyber criminals such as Lazarus Group used the mixer to launder stolen funds.
Sinbad became the third OFAC-sanctioned cryptocurrency mixer following similar actions against Blender and Tornado Cash.