A senior US official has briefed industry and government officials on risks associated with the hiring of North Koreans who pose as third-country citizens working in the information and technology (IT) sector, according to a State Department bureau.
CS Eliot Kang, assistant secretary at the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, met those officials Thursday (Washington time), the bureau tweeted, warning of the risks, including intellectual data theft, legal consequences and reputational harm.
The warning came as Seoul and Washington have been stepping up security coordination to rein in Pyongyang’s provocative acts amid concerns the recalcitrant regime could further escalate tensions by conducting a nuclear test, Yonhap news agency reported.
“Those highly skilled North Korean IT workers are generating revenue for the DPRK regime’s (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programs,” the bureau tweeted. DPRK stands for the North’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“They often target wealthier nations where pay is the highest, all while deceptively hiding their true nationality,” it added.
The bureau reiterated Washington’s continued pursuit of dialogue with Pyongyang but underscored its commitment to disrupting the North’s “illicit revenue-generating activities around the world.”