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August 11, 2023 3:37 PM IST

North Korea continues developing nuclear weapons, evading UN sanctions

North Korea | nuclear weapons | UN sanctions | nuclear arms | north korea developing nuclear weapons | missiles

In 2023, North Korea persisted in the advancement of nuclear arms and the creation of nuclear fissile components. Additionally, they avoided the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, which are intended to halt financial support for Pyongyang’s programs related to nuclear weaponry and ballistic missiles. This is as per an unpublished United Nations report seen by Reuters on Thursday.

“After a record-breaking level of cyber thefts in 2022, estimated at $1.7 billion, DPRK (North Korean) hackers reportedly continued to successfully target cyber cryptocurrency and other financial exchanges globally,” independent sanctions monitors wrote in the report to a U.N. Security Council committee.

Since 2006, North Korea has been subjected to United Nations sanctions due to its nuclear and ballistic missile initiatives. The U.N. sanctions monitors said hackers working for North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), its primary foreign intelligence agency, “continued to use increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques to steal funds and information.” North Korea also acquired 14 new vessels in violation of sanctions.

Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has directed the expansion of production capabilities in significant weapons factories. This directive follows his recent on-site visits to these locations, where he emphasized the significance of this effort in strengthening the nation’s defence capabilities. The KCNA state news agency reported this development on Sunday, August 6th.

Between August 3 and August 5, Kim Jong Un conducted inspections of factories responsible for manufacturing shells utilized in super large-caliber multiple rocket launchers, as well as transporter-erector-launchers typically employed for ballistic missile launches. According to the reports, Kim has directed the factories involved in producing missile engines, artillery, and other weaponry to enhance their production capabilities and bolster nation’s defence capabilities.

In late July, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, Pyongyang put on a major military parade displaying its newest nuclear-capable missiles and attack and spy drones. North Korea had also tested its latest Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Later, the country’s U.N. envoy defended the launch and told the Security Council that the launch was an exercise of its right to self-defence “to deter dangerous military moves of hostile forces and safeguard the security of our state.”

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