The U.S. State Department has pledged up to five million dollars for informants on North Korea’s violations of sanctions, including its illegal transshipment of coal and oil.
According to Radio Free Asia on Tuesday, the State Department announced to offer rewards for information that leads to the disruption of financial mechanisms of persons engaged in certain activities that support North Korea, including money laundering, sanctions evasion, cyber-crime, and WMD proliferation on the Rewards for Justice (RFJ) website run by the department.
The State Department has run the RFJ program since 1984 to obtain information about international terrorists. The newly announced reward prioritizes information about maritime illicit transshipment by North Korea for its export of coal and import of crude oil. In particular, a wanted poster with a caption to urge people, especially Chinese maritime workers, to stop North Korea’s illegal maritime activities was produced in both English and Chinese. The detection of maritime illicit transshipment is a challenging task as it requires a large scale oversight and North Korea has adopted ever more elaborate schemes to avoid sanctions.
Those who provide a critical piece of information to identify hackers who have stolen data or spread malicious codes under the orders of North Korea will be rewarded as well. In addition, the State Department also announced that it is seeking information about North Korean citizens working outside of North Korea and generating significant revenue for the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea; businesses or individuals located anywhere in the world that are involved in prohibited North Korean trade; North Korean weapons sales or shipments; and luxury goods shipped to North Korea.