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Inside North Korea’s hacker army • Bloomberg
Sam Kim talks to three people who defected from North Korea's program - which as they describe it seems to be about earning foreign currency by any means possible:
<p>
Lim Jong In, head of the department of cyberdefense at Korea University in Seoul and a former special adviser to South Korea’s president, says that North Korea’s hacking strategy has evolved since Jong defected. At the program’s height, he says, well over a hundred businesses believed to be fronts for North Korean hacking were working in the Chinese border cities of Shenyang and Dandong alone. China has since cracked down on these operations in an effort to comply with United Nations sanctions, but they’ve simply been moved elsewhere, to countries such as Russia and Malaysia. Their value to the regime—and to the hackers themselves—is simply too high to forgo. “North Korea kills two birds with one stone by hacking: It shores up its security posture and generates hard currency,” Lim says. “For hackers it offers a fast track to a better life at home.”

[Ex-North Korean state hacker] Jong is doing well for himself in Seoul. He blushes when congratulated for a promotion he recently received at a local software security company, saying he had to work especially hard for it. “I feel like my value as a programmer is discounted by half when I tell people I’m from North Korea,” he says. Others in the 30,000-odd defector community express similar frustrations about their outsider status; some display contempt for their adopted country’s concerns about appearances and money, and recall with pride their homeland’s penchant for bluntness.

Still, there’s no going back.</p>
Northkorea  hacking 
3 days ago by charlesarthur
The hotlines between North and South Korea •Electrospaces
The unnamed author on the modern version of the formal communications link between north and south, which was first opened in 1971:
<p>On the South Korean side, the hotline equipment is located in the communication office on the second floor of the Freedom House, which was built in 1998. On the North side, the line ends at a desk in the Panmungak building, which is less than 100 meters (328 feet) away.

The current equipment, which is seen in the most recent photos, was installed in 2009 and consists of a large, wood-panelled console on a desk. On top is a sign that says "South-North Direct Telephone". The system features disk drives, USB ports and a computer screen, which shows the Windows XP user interface. It's not clear what the function of the screen is, as there's no keyboard visible.

<img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0TBeswEkii0/WoJl-ArJVEI/AAAAAAAAD4I/qnkezwZIr70ccCXiENulbqN88u0FvhFEQCLcBGAs/s1600/korea-hotline-noclocks.jpg" width="100%" /><br /><em>Equipment of the Red Cross or border hotline on the South Korean side
(photo: YTN News)</em>

The most important parts are however two telephone handsets, one red and one green. The red one is for incoming calls from North Korea, while the South uses the green handset to make outgoing calls to the North. However, both phone sets are capable of sending and receiving, but there have been installed two of them just in case one fails.

Since 2015, the console has two digital clocks on top, as in that year North Korea shifted to UTC 08:30 or Pyongyang Time (PYT), while South Korea stayed in the UTC 09:00 or Korea Standard Time (KST) zone. The green clock shows 3:34 for South Korea and the orange/red one 3:04 for North-Korea.

Next to the hotline console there's a fax machine through which North Korea sometimes sends messages about topics that range from logistics to threats.

<img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h-JUfkdoLtg/WoNMQBOUfJI/AAAAAAAAD4w/lwa5hZ05brQxW5YBS_IRueJocflE3lEeACLcBGAs/s1600/korea-hotline-clocks3.jpg" width="100%" /></p>

Ah yes, we used to have a fax machine like that connected to head office.
communications  Northkorea 
3 days ago by charlesarthur
Inside North Korea’s Hacker Army
"The regime in Pyongyang has sent hundreds of programmers to other countries. Their mission: Make money by any means necessary."

"Hackers joked darkly that while they’d arrived as protein, they might return as powder."
NorthKorea  hacker  money 
6 days ago by cosmic
Unrolled thread from @DPRK_News
The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is not funny, nor is it charming. It's the worst industrialized state on Earth.
northkorea  twitter  olympics 
6 days ago by pozorvlak
Korean Reunification: The View From the North | HuffPost
In the aftermath of World War II, the two Koreas looked at the issue of reunification in an identical, if opposite, way. North Korea aspired to unify the peninsula under the banner of “our-style socialism.” South Korea, under Syngman Rhee, harbored hopes of absorbing the North in a similarly military fashion.

...

When asked about the system that a reunified Korea should adopt, the answers were even more startling. Only 14 opted for North Korean socialism, and 26 chose a compromise between the two systems. On the other hand, 34 respondents preferred the South Korean system and 24 others didn’t care which system the unified country adopts.
korea  northkorea  politics  government  history 
7 days ago by imaginaryfriend

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