KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Strong and united messages from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states including Malaysia are needed to counter the illegal cyber threat activities by North Korea.
South Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Director-General for the Korean peninsula Peace Regime Bureau, Chun Young Hee said the illegal activities targeting financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges should be highlighted at all levels.
This is especially crucial as it potentially contributes to the escalating issues relating to the country’s nuclear and missile development.
“We believe they are using their resources to develop nuclear and missile programmes. As we keep urging them to return to the negotiation table, these illegal activities are happening.
“In this regard, we need to work together and I hope Malaysia will also join to respond with a strong and united message to North Korea to abandon their nuclear and missile programme, and instead return to the negotiation table,” Chun told reporters after a roundtable discussion organised by the South Korean embassy here, Wednesday.
According to the data provided by the South Korean government, the total amount of cryptocurrency stolen by Pyongyang since 2017 recorded over US$1.2 billion (RM5.4 billion) and approximately around US$626 million (RM2.81 billion) this year alone.
Speaking on South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Japan on Thursday (March 16), Chun believed North Korea’s continuous provocations would be among the issues to be discussed together.
“Just like South Korea, the North Korean provocations are also a big, imminent threat to Japan. At such high-level visits and meetings, both leaders will potentially discuss the issues together,” he added.
Yoon will be the first South Korean president to come to Japan in about 12 years, other than for attending international conferences held in Japan, the international media reported.
The planned trip comes after South Korea announced recently that Japanese companies would compensate victims of forced labour under Japan’s colonial rule from 1910 – 1945, seeking to end a dispute that has undermined US-led efforts to present a unified front against China and North Korea.