Briefing

UN to crypto world: Don’t go to North Korea

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In a confidential report, the world body warns that attending the country’s second annual Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in February would be a likely sanctions violation. (Reuters)

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Talking point: For 3,400 euros, organizers of the conference promise Bitcoin connoisseurs a week of discreet friendship, collaboration, access to government officials and “winter sports and relaxing time.” Yet the United Nations said the North Korean government, which has been under sanctions from the world body since 2006, has stolen billions from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges to fund its weapons of mass disruption program. It further accused the despotic regime of using cryptocurrency “for sanctions evasion and money laundering.” In November 2019, U.S. authorities arrested Virgil Griffith after the Alabaman spoke at last year’s conference.