SEOUL — The South Korean government has announced its intent to collaborate with the global community to curb North Korea's increasingly complex money laundering activities.
According to Yonhap News Agency, the statement came after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international anti-money laundering organization, decided at its plenary meeting in Paris to keep North Korea on its list of "high-risk jurisdictions subject to a call for action" for the 13th consecutive year. This listing is designated for nations that have significant shortcomings in measures against money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation.
A separate report from the U.N. Panel of Experts regarding sanctions against North Korea indicated that state-sponsored cryptocurrency theft by the North was estimated to be nearly $1.7 billion last year, a threefold increase from 2021.
Koo Byoung-sam, spokesperson for the Unification Ministry, addressed the issue in a regular press briefing. He stated that North Korea's seizure of illicit funds for its governance and weapons development is escalating in both means and scale. Koo emphasized that the solution to problems on the Korean Peninsula, such as North Korea's denuclearization and human rights issues, hinges on cutting off the influx of illicit funds to the Kim Jong-un regime.
While Koo announced that South Korea is committed to working with the international community to halt such financial flows, he did not elaborate on specific actions to be taken.