Kim Byung-kee, a member of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee, delivered the shocking revelation about the cyber tactics employed by the hermit kingdom.
He declared: “North Korea sent emails that could hack into cryptocurrency exchanges and their customers’ private information and stole cryptocurrency worth billions of won.”
The intelligence committee member added that North Korea has continued in its efforts to hack cryptocurrency exchanges and the South was attempting to prevent further attacks.
Mr Kim did not specify which exchanges had been ransacked by the hermit kingdom.
One billion won is the equivalent of £651,000.
North Korea has previously targeted virtual currencies which have demonstrated the devastating effect and reach of the cyber realm.
Dr Garrick Hileman, a leading expert of cryptocurrencies, declared that Bitcoin could be used by the rogue nation to bolster its fleeting economy.
He explained: “There is growing interest from people in the national security space in cryptocurrency and how this is being used perhaps by rogue nations, like North Korea.
“There’s been reports that there is a growing interest inside North Korea in cryptocurrencies for uses that I’m not sure we quite fully understand.
“That potentially is an issue for space as nation-states get more interested in the technology and ones that have political objectives that are in conflict with other nations, you can see cryptocurrencies caught in the crosshairs in potentially a geopolitical squabble.”
Although the exact cryptocurrency being targeted by North Korea was not revealed, Kim Jong-un has previously targeted Bitcoin in a series of cyber moves.
However, the leading cryptocurrency is struggling to maintain its 2017 highs that saw the value of the virtual currency skyrocket.
US analyst Nicholas Colas claimed that there is a correlation between the number of people searching for Bitcoin on Google and the number of people investing in it.
He offered a potential explanation as to why the value for the cryptocurrency is plummeting.
Mr Colas claimed: “Going into December, Google searches skyrocketed.
“You saw that correlates to the total increased number of wallet growth, which doubled in December from approximately five per cent to 10 per cent as Bitcoin rallied.”
“Bitcoin is considered the gateway drug to all cryptos and it has acted exactly that way.
“Right now the Google search data is telling me there’s not really that next leg up in Bitcoin because there’s not that interest that leads to wallet growth that leads to price appreciation.
“Some of the movement in Ethereum, which has traded much better in January, is just money which is being pulled out of Bitcoin.”