The Korea Herald


Lawmakers blast North Korean cyberattacks in letter to Kim Jong-un

By Kim Arin

Published : April 20, 2023 - 03:15

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Rep. Ha Tae-keung (The Korea Herald) Rep. Ha Tae-keung (The Korea Herald)

South Korea lawmakers on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s cyberattacks outside the North Korean Embassy in the UK.

The member-lawmakers on the International Parliamentarians’ Coalition for Asian Human Rights -- Reps. Ha Tae-keung, Yang Jung-suk and Yun Chang-hyun -- issued an open letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, read outside the embassy.

“We ask Kim Jong-un to stop the hack attacks against the international community immediately. You are mobilizing all of your resources to organize cybercrimes against not only South Korea, but countries all over,” they said in the letter.

“All of this is being done at your direction and you must bear the full responsibility. You are turning your country into a giant crime ring, thieving and threatening the safety of other countries.”

The lawmakers also called for making internet access universal in North Korea.

“Instead of continuing the government-organized crimes, what you ought to be doing is to open up access to the internet and no longer deprive your people of their right to know,” they said in the letter.

“North Korea remains the only country in the world that does not allow its public access to the internet. Don’t keep your people cut off from the rest of the world. What are you afraid of?”

Citing the South Korean National Intelligence Service, Ha said in a statement released jointly with the letter that North Korea makes about 650,000 hacking attempts per day in South Korea alone. The value in South Korean secrets and properties stolen since 2018 totals over 140 billion won ($106 million), he said.

Ha and the two lawmakers are in London to hold an international conference on North Korean cybercrime together with the UK Parliament’s All-Parliamentary Group on North Korea, slated for April 20.