As sanctions bite, are North Korea hackers stepping up bitcoin attacks?

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The sanctions include a freeze on North Korean imports of crude oil at current levels of 4 million barrels a year and a cap on imports of refined petroleum products at 2 million barrels annually, or about half the current levels.

The resolution, passed after Washington toned down its original proposals to secure backing from China and Russian Federation, came just one month after the council banned exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to the North's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea's top envoy to a leading United Nations disarmament body said Tuesday his country "categorically" rejects the new sanctions.

"The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) will cause the USA the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history", the ministry said, using North Korea's official name.

North Korea has said that Washington will pay for leading a UN Security Council resolution over its latest nuclear test.

The resolution bans the export of textiles (worth an estimated $800 million a year), bans joint ventures with North Korea and also bans North Korean laborers from working overseas, preventing the regime from profiting by taxing those laborers.

The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, told the Security Council after the vote: "We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today".

China accounts for 90% of North Korea's external trade.

Keeping this and its other nuclear programmes in mind, the United Nations Security Council on Monday imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang.

Along with settling for the compromise on oil, the US unsuccessfully tried to get a travel ban and freezes on the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Air Koryo, the North's flagship airline.

North Korea doesn't seem interested in mining, but that doesn't mean the country's leadership wants to ignore the money it can make by acquiring and selling cryptocurrency.

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"Third, we will continue the discussion we launched last week on additional European Union sanctions to complement action decided by the Security Council and put maximum pressure on North Korea".

North Korea has faced growing condemnation from around the world following its sixth and largest nuclear test this month.

The measures targeted North Korean exports, including coal, iron, lead, and seafood, and were estimated to, if properly implemented, cut the country's export revenues by USD$1 billion.

North Korea seems to be ramping up cyberattacks to steal Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that could be used to circumvent trade restrictions and worldwide sanctions and obtain hard currencies to fund the regime.

South Korea is not now considering redeploying American nuclear weapons within its borders, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told global media here Monday, without explicitly ruling out the option amid North Korea's continued nuclear and missile development.

North Korea's new standing as a nuclear power is one the White House can no longer deny, says Maxwell.

"We are acting in response to a unsafe new development", USA envoy Nikki Haley told the Security Council after the vote.

It prompted the United Nations Security Council to adopt its eighth set of sanctions on North Korea, but previous resolutions have done little to halt Pyongyang's weapons ambitions.

An oil embargo had been strongly supported by both South Korea and Japan - who began pushing for a new UNSC resolution in the aftermath of a North Korean missile launch on August 28.

He cited Trump's warning last month of "fire and fury" against the North if it makes more threats, and his "shaming" of allies through tweets, which he said undermined US credibility.

North Korea's embassy in Lima declined comment.

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