This week the U.S. Department of Defense published its annual report to Congress on military and security developments Involving the DPRK. The 20-page unclassified document provides a good if brief overview of the current state of North Korean armed forces. For tech-watchers, it doesn’t include any surprises.
The country’s cyber warfare capabilities were addresses in one carefully worded paragraph. The DoD noted the allegations made in South Korea that the DPRK was behind several attacks, but didn’t itself assert any involvement or disclose any knowledge of the country’s actual capability.
In fact, the DoD noted that finding the ultimate source of a cyber More >
The ranking, by Washington, D.C., -based Freedom House was published on Wednesday and this year gave North Korea a score of 96. That still leaves it at the absolute bottom of the survey, this year tied with Turkmenistan, but its a point higher than last year.
The extra point came, “as a result of increased attempts to circumvent stringent censorship and the use of technologies such as smuggled DVDs to spread news and information,” Freedom House said in the report.
Recent years have seen a More >
Last week, the Korean Central News Agency reported that seven local inventors received awards from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The awards were handed out last Wednesday and were part of events to mark world intellectual property day on April 26.
I was intrigued at how WIPO had found these inventors, so I contacted the Geneva-based organization to find out.
KCNA reported the winners as:
- Jon Hyong Su (전형수), room chief of Pyongyang University of Architecture (평양건축종합대학)
- Kim Chol Hyok (김철혁), post-graduate student of Pyongyang University of Architecture
- Hong Song Hyok (홍성혁), designer of the Management Bureau for the Preservation of the Revolutionary Sites
- Pang More >
When South Korean workers began leaving the Kaesong Industrial Zone a couple of weeks ago, they returned across the border in cars and trucks laden with as much finished merchandise as possible.
Plastic-wrapped packages and boxes didn’t just fill the interior of cars but were stacked high on the roof, sometimes even covering the car’s bonnet and hanging off the back. After all, getting those goods to market was the prime concern at the time when people thought Kaesong operations might be suspended for a few days or weeks.
Now it’s looking like the shutdown will last longer and there are new concerns More >
Choson Sinbo (조선신보, 朝鮮新報), the newspaper of the DPRK-affiliated Korean community in Japan, has apologized to its readers after its user database was leaked over the weekend by hackers.
The Tokyo-based newspaper ran an apology on its website in both Korean and Japanese in which it acknowledged the Saturday attack resulted in the disclosure of private information about registered users of the web site.
The database, seen by NorthKoreaTech.org, contained the usernames and email addresses of 3,667 registered users. The vast majority of the users appear to be based in Japan and the email addresses leaked include those of companies, universities, personal addresses and cell phones.
In reaction to the attack, More >
The station is in Takasaki, about 100 kilometers northwest of Tokyo and about 1,000 kilometers from North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, and is operated by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which made the announcement on Tuesday.
Detected were two radioactive isotopes of the noble gas xenon: xenon-131m and xenon-133 — something the CTBTO called “rather unusual.”
Noble gases are one of four things the CTBTO looks out for in its nuclear monitoring process. That’s because the gases can be released by either More >
The “private, humanitarian” mission, as Schmidt termed it, surprised many and saw him turn up in Pyongyang with his daughter Sophie Schmidt, Jared Cohen, head of the Google Ideas think tank, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and Kun “Tony” Namkung, a U.S.-based businessman that acts as a go-between in some deals between the U.S. and North Korea.
Schmidt and Cohen, who haven’t said much about the trip since leaving Pyongyang, penned a dual-bylined article in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday about the trip. The article, More >
The details include names, email addresses, user names and in some cases addresses and phone numbers of people to the three sites: the Japan-based Choson Sinbo (조선신보, 朝鮮新報) newspaper, the China-based Ryomyong (려명) site and the U.S.-based Korea American National Coordinating Council (재미동포전국연합회).
The details were apparently stolen by hackers working under the banner of the Anonymous group, who have been attacking North Korean-related websites for the last few weeks.
The largest database dump was that of the Choson Sinbo, which contained 3,667 records. The Ryomyong database numbered just over 1,300 users More >
Korean Central Television, the DPRK’s main nationwide TV channel, appears to have received another technology upgrade.
New satellite images uploaded to Google Earth show four satellite dishes on the roof of a building at the TV and radio broadcasting center. They weren’t there a few months ago.
It’s interesting because previously the TV and radio broadcasting center didn’t appear to have any link with the rest of the world. At least, nothing direct it controlled. It’s quite possible that signals from overseas were downlinked somewhere else and supplied over cable to the building.
Here’s the building as shown in a Google image from More >