Anti-N.Korean guerilla group receives over 13 million KRW in donations after selling 'virtual visas'

Violet Neary, March 27, 2019, 9:37 a.m.

A shadowy guerrilla group opposed to the North Korean regime received more than W13 million worth of donations on the first day it started selling "virtual visas" online (US$1=W1,135).

The group, which variously goes by the names Cheollima Civil Defense or Free Joseon, became famous in a recent daredevil raid on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid and is thought to be protecting the son of Kim Jong-nam, the assassinated half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Free Joseon, named after North Korea's conventional name for itself, started selling the visas at 9 a.m. on Monday. A visa costs 1 Ethereum, a cryptocurrency now valued at around W152,000.

The group, which recently declared itself the provisional North Korean government-in-exile, said the documents being sold are "limited issuance of 200,000 anonymous blockchain visas to visit Free Joseon... upon liberation."

According to the group's website, 90 visas had been sold by Tuesday to around 60 people. Some bought up to seven or eight, thereby donating more than W1 million.

It uses cryptocurrencies like Eth and Bitcoin to avoid leaving any financial tracks. Since March 2017, it has received around W64 million worth of donations.

Meanwhile, reports said the group has offered information it spirited away in the Madrid embassy raid to the FBI.

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