North Korea's hidden cadre of cyber-warriors

The breakoff of relations between Malaysia and North Korea was a welcome development, given the expanding spiral of lunacy of North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, who sent his agents to slaughter his brother in a broad-daylight assassination in Kuala Lumpur.

But the problems are far from over.

Are many Americans aware that Malaysia, up until that killing, was training an elite thousand-man force of North Korean cyber-warriors?  Today's South China Morning Post out of Hong Kong has the shocking details:

The regime's tentacles are long – far longer than is often assumed. There are close to 1,000 North Koreans in Malaysia, almost all of whom are based in Cyberjaya, the multimedia super corridor adjacent to the administrative district of the Malaysian government (Putrajaya). These workers, who masquerade under various covers, are thought to have been sent abroad by Elite Bureau 121, Pyongyang's cyberwarfare agency – indeed, they represent about 10 per cent of the bureau's overseas manpower.

Had there been no assassination, this insanity would still be going on.

SCMP warns that even with the halt in relations, the problem is far from over:

These workers had been able to exploit the visa-free access granted to North Koreans by Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur withdrew the privilege in response to the assassination, but much of the damage has already been done.

Cyber-hackers aren't the only problem derived from Malaysia's effort to be neighborly, by the way. SCMP also reports:

There are rumours that anywhere between a few dozen to 2,000 North Koreans work as indentured labourers in the mines of Sarawak.

Sarawak, on the northern edge of Borneo, is home to rare earth mineral-mining operations and other strategic commodities necessary for the construction of high technology items and possibly for nuclear technology. Useful for a terrorist regime to know about.

It gets worse, because Malaysia is not the only one:

Indonesia has a similar visa arrangement with Pyongyang, as did Singapore until last year. In these places local entrepreneurs have taken to working with North Korean companies in the hope one day the country will be driven by free trade.

So hopes for free trade enticed these countries to throw caution to the wind, and now the Norks have a nice new knowledge base with which to threaten them?  This is scary stuff, indeed.

What we have here are a Western (okay, Eastern, but what we mean is advanced society)-trained cadre of cyber-warriors, led by a maniac who by all observer accounts is growing crazier and more aggressive by the minute, and this battalion is sufficiently trained already to turn its training against us.

Combine it with the enabling the Chinese have done for these maniacs as they literally prepare for nuclear war, and a very bad picture is emerging.

It shows the problem of jumping the gun on trade – North Korea will have to be completely defeated before any help can or should be given – and the shortsightedness of the region in underestimating the lunatic regime to the far north. These people will hurt us.

The breakoff of relations between Malaysia and North Korea was a welcome development, given the expanding spiral of lunacy of North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, who sent his agents to slaughter his brother in a broad-daylight assassination in Kuala Lumpur.

But the problems are far from over.

Are many Americans aware that Malaysia, up until that killing, was training an elite thousand-man force of North Korean cyber-warriors?  Today's South China Morning Post out of Hong Kong has the shocking details:

The regime's tentacles are long – far longer than is often assumed. There are close to 1,000 North Koreans in Malaysia, almost all of whom are based in Cyberjaya, the multimedia super corridor adjacent to the administrative district of the Malaysian government (Putrajaya). These workers, who masquerade under various covers, are thought to have been sent abroad by Elite Bureau 121, Pyongyang's cyberwarfare agency – indeed, they represent about 10 per cent of the bureau's overseas manpower.

Had there been no assassination, this insanity would still be going on.

SCMP warns that even with the halt in relations, the problem is far from over:

These workers had been able to exploit the visa-free access granted to North Koreans by Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur withdrew the privilege in response to the assassination, but much of the damage has already been done.

Cyber-hackers aren't the only problem derived from Malaysia's effort to be neighborly, by the way. SCMP also reports:

There are rumours that anywhere between a few dozen to 2,000 North Koreans work as indentured labourers in the mines of Sarawak.

Sarawak, on the northern edge of Borneo, is home to rare earth mineral-mining operations and other strategic commodities necessary for the construction of high technology items and possibly for nuclear technology. Useful for a terrorist regime to know about.

It gets worse, because Malaysia is not the only one:

Indonesia has a similar visa arrangement with Pyongyang, as did Singapore until last year. In these places local entrepreneurs have taken to working with North Korean companies in the hope one day the country will be driven by free trade.

So hopes for free trade enticed these countries to throw caution to the wind, and now the Norks have a nice new knowledge base with which to threaten them?  This is scary stuff, indeed.

What we have here are a Western (okay, Eastern, but what we mean is advanced society)-trained cadre of cyber-warriors, led by a maniac who by all observer accounts is growing crazier and more aggressive by the minute, and this battalion is sufficiently trained already to turn its training against us.

Combine it with the enabling the Chinese have done for these maniacs as they literally prepare for nuclear war, and a very bad picture is emerging.

It shows the problem of jumping the gun on trade – North Korea will have to be completely defeated before any help can or should be given – and the shortsightedness of the region in underestimating the lunatic regime to the far north. These people will hurt us.

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