US, S. Korea, Japan hoping to counter cyber threats

Miniatures of people with computers are seen in front of North Korea flag in this illustration taken July 19, 2023. — REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION

SEOUL — The United States (US), South Korea and Japan have agreed to launch a high-level consultative group on countering North Korean cyber activities that they say finance its unlawful weapons programs, South Korea’s presidential office said on Monday.

Anne Neuberger, US deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, held talks with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington last week. They agreed to hold quarterly meetings under the new framework, the presidential office said.

“It is aimed at strengthening the three countries’ effective response capabilities against global cyber threats, including jointly countering North Korea’s cyber activities that are abused as a key source funding its nuclear and WMD programs,” the office said in a statement.

The announcement comes after the leaders of the three countries agreed at a summit in August at Camp David that they would establish a new trilateral working group for the North’s cyber threats.

Sanctions monitors have accused North Korea of using cyberattacks to gather funds for its nuclear and missile programs, and a United Nations report said the North stepped up its cryptocurrency theft last year, using sophisticated techniques to steal more in 2022 than any other year.

North Korea has denied allegations of hacking or other cyberattacks. — Reuters

Neil Banzuelo

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