North Korea Is Dodging Sanctions With a Secret Bitcoin Stash
Yuji Nakamura and Sam Kim | Bloomberg
“North Korea appears to be stepping up efforts to secure bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which could be used to avoid trade restrictions including new sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council.
Hackers from Kim Jong Un’s regime are increasing their attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea and related sites, according to a new report from security researcher FireEye Inc. They also breached an English-language bitcoin news website and collected bitcoin ransom payments from global victims of the malware WannaCry, according to the researcher.
Kim’s apparent interest in cryptocurrencies comes amid rising prices and popularity. The same factors that have driven their success—lack of state control and secretiveness—would make them useful fund raising and money laundering tools for a man threatening to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. With tightening sanctions and usage of cryptocurrencies broadening, security experts say North Korea’s embrace of digital cash will only increase.”
Riding the Madaraka Express
Melissa Lefkowitz | Roads & Kingdoms
“The Standard Gauge Railway is the fastest train Kenya has ever seen. It operates at an average of 75 miles per hour. This is nearly double the speed of the country’s only other train line, the now-defunct Kenya–Uganda Railway, built in 1901 during the colonial era. As if to emphasize the point, the SGR opened 18 months ahead of schedule on Kenya’s annual anniversary of self-rule: Madaraka Day on May 31. The train line, which has been labeled the Madaraka Express, has been sold out every day since.