South Korea slaps sanctions on North's hacking group after failed satellite launch

  • World
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released on November 19, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea on Friday announced new sanctions against a North Korean hacking group, Kimsuky, it accused of being involved in the North's latest satellite launch attempt.

The United States and South Korea also issued a joint advisory saying the group conducts "large-scale" cyber attacks at think tanks, academic institutions and news outlets.

The hackers are known to conduct spearphishing campaigns posing as real journalists, academics, or other individuals with credible links to North Korean policy circles, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

On Wednesday North Korea launched its first spy satellite into space, but that ended in failure with the booster and payload plunging into the sea.

"North Korean hacking groups including Kimsuky have been, directly or indirectly, engaged in North Korea's so-called 'satellite' development by stealing cutting-edge technologies on weapons development, satellite and space," the South Korean ministry said in a statement.

The U.S., South Korea and Japan said any launch by Pyongyang using ballistic missile technology violates multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

South Korea's ministry said the latest sanctions demonstrate Seoul's will to make North Korea pay for its provocations.

North Korea on Thursday rejected condemnation of the launch by Washington and other countries, saying it has a sovereign right to space development and vowing to soon put a spy satellite into orbit.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi, Ju-min Park in Seoul and Rami Ayyub in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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