The Korea Herald


Kim Jong-un orders support for Palestine in Israel-Hamas war: NIS

North Korea has sent Russia enough artillery shells to last two months in Ukraine war, spy agency says

By Kim Arin

Published : Nov. 1, 2023 - 18:41

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The chief of the National Intelligence Service, Kim Kyou-hyun, appears for the National Assembly audit on Wednesday. (Yonhap) The chief of the National Intelligence Service, Kim Kyou-hyun, appears for the National Assembly audit on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is mobilizing support for Palestine in the wake of Israel’s war with Palestinian-Islamist militant group Hamas, according to South Korea’s spy agency.

In the 2023 audit by the National Assembly held Wednesday, the National Intelligence Agency’s director Kim Kyou-hyun told lawmakers that the North Korean leader is believed to have instructed “a wide range of support” for Palestine, in an apparent attempt to benefit from the war.

The chief of the South Korean spy service was quoted by Rep. Yoo Sang-bum, the executive secretary for the Assembly intelligence committee, as telling lawmakers that North Korea could engage in arms trades with militant groups.

The spy service chief told lawmakers that Russia likely provided technology which could boost North Korea’s chances of successfully launching a spy satellite, following two failed attempts earlier this year.

North Korea has supplied arms to Russia to aid its war against Ukraine, sending artillery shells and other weapons via sea about a dozen times since August. The amount of artillery pieces North Korea sent to Russia is estimated to be enough to last at least two months in the war in Ukraine. North Korea has been operating its factories across the country at full capacity to continue to provide Russia with weapons.

The spy service chief told lawmakers that more than 80 percent of foreign cyberattacks against South Korea were by North Korea and China, and that the frequency of such cyberattacks by adversaries has increased by about 32 percent so far this year compared to the year prior. North Korea has recently been targeting private companies more frequently than government agencies, including the most widely used South Korean portal site Naver.

In Wednesday’s audit, the ruling People Power Party and the Democratic Party of Korea agreed to form a committee to investigate the cybersecurity concerns surrounding the National Election Commission, with the general election just six months away.

The NIS conducted a cybersecurity evaluation jointly with the Korea Internet and Security Agency from July 17 to Sept. 22 and found that it was possible to breach into the national election watchdog’s database of registered voters, print extra ballots and manipulate the results.