The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on three companies from North Korea: the Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff, and Andariel. According to representatives of the United States, these groups are responsible for the theft of cryptographic data for $571 million from five exchanges in Asia in 2017 and 2018.
This announcement was made a few days after the DPRK stated that they intend to hold a second cryptocurrency conference, inviting the community to share information and enter into transactions in Pyongyang starting in February 2020.
All three groups are controlled by North Korea and connected with the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), according to the announcement. The Treasury said stolen funds, including coins from cryptocurrency exchanges, were used to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
Any financial institution in any country that deals with blocked entities may lose its correspondent banking relationship with the United States.
Recall that a recent UN report claimed that the DPRK stole cryptocurrency and fiat currency for $2 billion in 35 separate attacks in 17 countries.