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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea gets half its foreign currency from cyber theft: U.S. official

Washington seeks clampdown on funding from hacking and tech work abroad

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has overseen a rapid buildup of the country's ballistic weapons program -- and, analysts say, a cybercrime spree. (Photo by KCNA via Reuters)

SINGAPORE -- The U.S. estimates that North Korea earns roughly half of its foreign-currency income from cyberattacks, likely to provide a crucial source of funding for its weapons programs, a senior American official told Nikkei.

The threat posed by Pyongyang was among the main topics at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference that opened Friday in Singapore. Although North Korea failed in its attempt Wednesday to launch a spy satellite, it has indicated that it will try again soon without advance notice.

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