The United States has sanctioned a North Korean hacking group and eight individuals following the North’s launch of a military spy satellite last week.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced on its website on Thursday that Kimsuky, a cyber espionage group, and eight foreign-based North Korean agents were added to the sanctions list.
The department said that the eight individuals, including Choe Song-chol and Choe Un-hyok, are associated with North’s state-owned weapons exporter, financial institutions and front companies.
The Treasury said that they provide critical access to foreign technology vital to the regime’s domestic weapons program and enable revenue generation through access to the international financial system.
The announcement said the move is a response to the North's claimed launch of a military reconnaissance satellite on November 21.
It added that the designations demonstrate the multilateral efforts of the United States and foreign partners to hinder Pyongyang’s ability to generate funds, procure materiel, and gather intelligence that advances the development of its weapons of mass destruction program and the unlawful export of arms.