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Outside information questioning Kim's legitimacy can be response to N.K. cyber attacks: CSIS report

2016/01/28 02:55

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Penetrating outside information into North Korea questioning the legitimacy of leader Kim Jong-un should be considered as a key means to retaliate against and curb the communist nation's cyber attacks, a U.S. think tank said.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) made the suggestion in a report on policy suggestions on how to counter the North's cyber operations, saying reponding to cyber attacks with cyber attacks won't be effective because the North isn't as dependent on networks as South Korea and the U.S. are.

"Therefore, responses should be tailored to leverage North Korea's specific weaknesses and sensitivities," said the report released this week. "North Korea has unique asymmetric vulnerabilities as well, especially to outside information that attacks the legitimacy of the regime."

   North Korea maintains a tight lid on outside information in an attempt to keep its hunger-stricken 24 million people in the dark about how terrible conditions they are in and how bad their leaders are. The regime tolerates no criticism of its leader.

"The DPRK government is known to oppose the consumption of South Korean and foreign media such as news, dramas, music and the like. Additionally North Korea has publicly expressed sensitivity to criticism and perceived defamation regarding the character of its leadership and the Kim family in particular," the report said.

"The deliberate introduction of additional media and information into North Korea's networks and population may serve as a potent means of responding to cyber attacks without resorting to use of force, armed attacks or countermeasures," it said.

It also recommended that the U.S. and South Korea should develop contingency plans for a range of scenarios involving North Korean cyber attacks, and those scenarios should not be limited only to cyber operations because cyber attacks can be conducted alongside conventional operations.

"The United States and ROK should be prepared to react to mixed provocations that will not and should not elicit responses purely in cyber space," it said.