Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Geo Focus: Asia

South Korean President Expects North Korea Election Meddling

President Warns of Coming Waves of Cyberattacks, Fake News and Disinformation
South Korean President Expects North Korea Election Meddling
Election posters in Seoul, South Korea (Image: Shutterstock)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol expects North Korea to interfere with the upcoming legislative elections and warned citizens to prepare for waves of cyberattacks, fake news and disinformation. Attacks from North Korea have the potential to create social chaos.

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The president said Wednesday that the Kim Jong Un-led regime will spare no effort to influence the outcome of the upcoming parliamentary elections in South Korea and will use all means at its disposal - including border provocations, missile launches, provocative statements or cyberattacks - to create discord and instability in the community.

"Recently, it has been trading arms with Russia and blatantly ignoring international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions. This is also a provocative act that is very threatening not only to global security but also to the security of the Korean Peninsula," Yeol said.

In a five-minute inaugural speech at the 57th Central Integrated Defense Conference - which is attended by government executives and representatives from the armed forces, the National Intelligence Service, the National Police Agency, the Coast Guard and the Fire Agency - Yeol focused on the North Korean threat to election cybersecurity and the looming waves of disinformation.

South Korea will hold its next major elections on April 10, when candidates across the six main political parties will compete for 300 seats in the National Assembly. An estimated 45 million citizens are expected to cast their votes.

The president's warning arrives one week after the country's premier intelligence agency held North Korea responsible for 80% of cyberattacks that targeted public sector organizations in 2023. NIS said attacks on the public sector organizations rose by 36% last year and averaged 1.62 million attacks per day.

North Korea began the year with renewed hostility towards its southern neighbor, firing 60 artillery rounds near a border island, launching a military satellite, firing long-range ballistic missiles and declaring that South Korea is its "primary foe and invariable principal enemy."

About the Author

Jayant Chakravarti

Jayant Chakravarti

Senior Editor, APAC

Chakravarti covers cybersecurity developments in the Asia-Pacific region. He has been writing about technology since 2014, including for Ziff Davis.

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