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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

DPRK mulling cyberattacks on Japan, U.S., ROK upon adoption of UNSC resolution, says source

By Yoshihiro Makino in Seoul

 

In a statement dated Sept. 11, the North Korean foreign ministry warned that it will engage in new provocations if the UN Security Council adopts new sanctions. According to an informed source on North Korea, the DPRK is considering launching cyberattacks on Japanese, U.S., and ROK government offices as well as private companies, although the three countries are on the alert for another ballistic missile launch.

 

The DPRK foreign ministry’s statement emphasized that the U.S. will pay “a due price” if a new resolution is adopted, warning that its next step will “inflict on the U.S. the greatest pain and suffering it has ever experienced in its entire history” and that it will “take a series of actions tougher than the U.S. has ever envisaged.”

 

The above source said that Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un has issued an order to its spy agency, the Korean People’s Army’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, to prepare to launch cyberattacks on Japanese, U.S., and ROK government offices and other organizations if a new UNSC resolution is adopted.

 

According to the ROK Ministry of National Defense, North Korea has around 6,800 cyber operatives. A former cyber official points out that their targets include military-related sites, administrative offices, nuclear plants, private banks, transportation companies, and other organizations in Japan, the U.S., and the ROK. North Korea aims to hack computers to steal information and to disrupt computer systems.

 

This official says that “while past cyberattacks mainly consisted of repeated massive access, they are now concentrating on developing viruses.” (Slightly abridged)

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