South Korea Sanctions 8 North Koreans over Arms Trade, Cyberattacks

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
Miniatures of people with computers are seen in front of North Korea flag in this illustration taken July 19, 2023.

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea imposed sanctions on eight North Koreans linked to nuclear and missile development through arms trade, cyberattacks and other illicit activities, Seoul’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The sanctions came days after North Korea fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which South Korea and the United States strongly condemned as a grave violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The newly blacklisted people include Ri Chang Ho, head of the Reconnaissance General Bureau involved in overseas hacking operations, and Yun Chol, who helped supply nuclear materials while working at the North Korean Embassy in China, the ministry said.

“The eight were involved in generating profits for the North Korean regime and financing nuclear weapons and missiles development by earning foreign currency through illegal cyber activities or stealing technology and trading sanctioned goods including weapons,” it said in a statement.

Amid a prolonged stalemate at the U.N., Seoul has slapped sanctions against Pyongyang independently or together with Washington and Tokyo, seeking to squeeze its funding sources.

South Korea has blacklisted 83 individuals and 53 entities related to North Korea’s weapons programs since October 2022.