N. Korea Committed to Staging Cyberwarfare against S. Korea

Seoul, – North Korea is fully committed to staging cyberwarfare against South Korea by operating special teams that conduct hacking attacks and spread false information in a bid to fuel anti-Seoul propaganda, a source said Monday.

“North Korea has been engrossed in cyberwarfare operations with its reconnaissance bureau, the ruling party’s department dealing with South Korea, and an operator of propaganda websites leading such campaigns,” according to the source familiar with the reclusive country.

The special teams are tasked with filing pro-Pyongyang messages on South Korean websites and spreading lies through social media, he said.

The North’s move comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in August 2013 that building cyberwarfare capabilities is a powerful tool in advancing the military’s ability to stage strikes, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency.

At a meeting with ideological workers held in February 2014, Kim called for measures to make the Internet a venue for North Korea’s propaganda campaign, according to Pyongyang’s state media.

Experts said that the North’s propaganda websites are focusing on driving a wedge among South Koreans by highlighting sensitive issues such as a mass defection by North Korean restaurant workers in China and Seoul’s latest decision to install an advanced US missile defense system.

North Korea has claimed that a group of 13 North Korean restaurant staff had been tricked into defecting and were kidnapped by South Korea’s spy agency. Seoul rejected it, saying that they came to Seoul of their own free will.

North Korea has been long accused of waging cyberwarfare, including a hacking attack on South Korea and even against U.S. companies. In March 2013, North Korea carried out a massive cyberattack on South Korean financial firms and TV broadcasters, causing their networks to crash.

In late 2014, the US accused Pyongyang of staging cyberattacks on Sony Pictures, which released “The Interview,” a fictional movie about assassinating the North’s current leader.

Source: Qatar News Agency