11/5/13. Report: North Korea developing electromagnetic pulse weapons. AFP, smh.com.au
“North Korea is using Russian technology to develop electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at paralysing military electronic equipment south of the border, according to South Korea’s spy agency.
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a report to parliament that the North had purchased Russian electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry to develop its own versions.
EMP weapons are used to damage electronic equipment. At higher energy levels, an EMP can cause more widespread damage including to aircraft structures and other objects.
Weaponry is fired during a firepower strike drill of the Korean People’s Army that Kim Jong-Un reportedly attended. Photo: KNS/AFP
The spy agency also said the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un sees cyber attacks as an all-purpose weapon along with nuclear weapons and missiles, according to legislators briefed by the NIS.
The North is trying to hack into smartphones and lure South Koreans into becoming informants, it said.
It has collected information on where South Korea stores chemical substances and oil reserves as well as details about subways, tunnels and train networks in major cities, it said.
The spy agency also said North Korean spies were operating in China and Japan to distribute pro-Pyongyang propaganda.
North Korea is believed to run an elite cyberwarfare unit of 3000 personnel.
A South Korean official, citing government data, said last month the North had staged thousands of cyber attacks against the South in recent years, causing financial losses of about $US805 million ($846 million).
In addition to military institutions, the North’s recent high-profile cyber attacks have targeted commercial banks, government agencies, TV broadcasters and media websites.
North Korea has denied any involvement in cyber attacks and accused Seoul of fabricating them to fan cross-border tension.”