North Korea has deployed six more patrol vessels near the sea border with South Korea as Pyongyang continues its campaign to invalidate the maritime boundary in the Yellow Sea. The information was announced by a member of the National Assembly’s Public Administration & Security committee, Im Su-kyung.
The South Korean National Computing & Information Agency (NCIA) collected data on hacking attempts over the period of June 2011 to June 2015. The figures do not include attempted hacks automatically filtered out by web security systems, nor attacks recorded by the Defense Ministry and Seoul’s National Intelligence Service.
The biggest number of assaults targeted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was under attack 8,663 times. Discussions about restoring the Gyeongwon Line, which would link Seoul with Wonsan in North Korea, could be tied to deliberations about resuming tours to Mt. Keumkang, which is close to Wonsan. Internet connectivity is famously limited in North Korea: the country reportedly has around 1,024 IP addresses-compared to some 123 million in the U.K.-and there is just a single cable linking North Korea’s network with that of China.
“We must do more to stop the growing number and the growing number of types of cyberattacks”, Su-kyung pointed out.
Those findings were debated Monday at special session of the UN’s rights council, which North Korea’s ambassador at-large, Ri Hung Sik, dismissed as “nearly three hours talking about a non-existent issue”.
Seoul has blamed Pyongyang for a number of cyber attacks in recent years. Seoul regained its peacetime operational control in 1994. They also fear being trapped like “rats in a hole” in the nets of the myriad fishing nurseries maintained by South Korean fisherman.
Only a few months ago the North Korean Embassy in Jakarta appeared to be in a festive mood after a memorandum of understanding was signed with Indonesia on scientific and cultural exchange and cooperation between universities, a South Korean Embassy official said.
A North Korean defector told the BBC in May that Pyongyang had an army of 6,000 trained military hackers and that the regime spends up to 20 percent of its military budget on cyber operations.
“It is extremely cruel of the administration of (North Korea) and a breach of fundamental human rights to deny the opportunity for families to be reunited”, he said, adding: “It is really a barbarous practice”.
In addition to the many South Koreans taken and held, hundreds of Japanese citizens are believed to have been taken to train North Korean spies in Japanese language and customs.