North Korean hackers are targeting South Korean Internet users with emails that purport to be updates on the MERS (Middle East Respitory Syndrome) virus, according to broadcaster KBS. [Update: See below]
A major outbreak of MERS has killed at least 14 people in the country, sickened 138 people and has close to 4,000 people in isolation so interest in the issue is high.
On Friday, KBS said a trojan virus in the emails had been traced back to North Korea.
North Korea’s space agency told the Associated Press last week that it is planning to launch another satellite.
The satellite will be the fifth it has attempted to put in orbit. The first three launches were unsuccessful but the fourth, in December 2012, successfully placed a satellite into space, although the satellite appears to have malfunctioned.
Another launch is certain to bring further criticism from neighboring countries and the United Nations Security Council and North Korea appears to be preparing for this in the same way it handled it last time: by claiming it has a “legitimate right to space development for peaceful purposes” and that any criticism is a double-standard.
Hana Electronics, one of North Korea’s best-known and only electronics companies, is profiled in the latest edition of “Foreign Trade” magazine.
The company was established in May 2003 as a joint venture between the U.K.’s Phoenix Commercial Ventures and the trading department of North Korea’s Ministry of Culture.
It’s been making, or at least assembling, DVD and Video CD players for many years. The actual level of production that goes on at the factory is unknown. The only pictures that have been issued are of what appear to be quality control stations, where finished products are checked. It’s likely the company’s products or major components like circuit boards are made overseas and imported.
North Korea’s Maritime Administration (국가해사감독국) is the latest public institution to put a website on the global Internet.
It’s the first new Internet website from North Korea this year and joins a small handful of sites originating from servers in Pyongyang.
The site has Korean and English language versions and perhaps most interestingly, a searchable database of North Korea’s ships involved in international passage and personnel certified to operate them.
It’s probably the first use of Periscope, Twitter’s new video live streaming tool, from Pyongyang.
Coleen Baik, a designer who previously worked at Twitter, is in North Korea at the moment as part of the Women Cross DMZ movement. The group are in the headlines for their plan to cross from North Korea to South Korea at the border in Panmunjom, if both countries allow it. Right now that appears in jeopardy.
She’s been chronically the trip on Twitter, naturally, with photos and live video.
On the flight to Pyongyang with a little light reading. pic.twitter.com/rS1oZbhwon
— Coleen Baik (@colbay) May 19, 2015
NASA’s satellite images of the Korean peninsula at night are a well known and graphic visualization of the huge gap in economic development between North and South Korea.
But it turns out, there are other lessons that can be learned from nighttime pictures of North Korea. An economist at Stanford University has studied almost two decades of satellite pictures of the country to conclude the government in Pyongyang is shifting economic activity to industrial centers, reducing the effect of sanctions on city dwellers while increasing their impact on those in the countryside.
Lee Yong Suk analysed nighttime images taken by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, a U.S. Department of Defense program from which images of the world at night are made available.