By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Nov. 29, 2022 8:56PM KST Updated Dec. 1, 2022 12:10PM KST
The South Korean military is seeking a more aggressive use of its cyber defense capabilities against North Korea’s nuclear threats.
“From now on, the South Korean military will expand its investments for implementing a soft kill [strategy] that could non-physically neutralize North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” Shin Beom-chul, South Korea’s vice defense minister, said Tuesday at the White Hat Conference hosted by the South Korean military.
The vice defense minister attended the conference on the behalf of South Korea’s defense minister, Lee Jong-sup, who was absent for personal reasons. Shin read a welcoming speech, which was written by the defense minister, at the opening of the conference.
In the words of the vice defense minister, soft kill is a strategy which paralyzes the other party not by physical attacks but with cyberattacks. The vice defense minister added that the soft kill has become an important issue in the cyber domain.
“As we have noticed from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cyberattacks could have a more powerful effect than lethal weapons, as it cripples the country’s computer network, adding confusion to the society,” said the vice defense minister.
The vice defense minister added that North Korea is not only threatening South Korea but also the international community with their advanced cyber warfare capabilities.
The vice defense minister was not the only one who expressed concerns over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.
Lim Jong-deuk, the second deputy national security advisor, firmly said that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat is “the most crucial challenge the country is facing.”
“We could expand our deterrence not only in time and space but also in methods if we use cyber capabilities,” said the second deputy national security advisor at the opening of the White Hat Conference. “The South Korean government will try its best to make the country one of the leading nations in cybersecurity.”
Kuksung Nam is a cybersecurity journalist for The Readable. She covers cybersecurity issues in South Korea, including the public and private sectors. Prior to joining The Readable, she worked as a political reporter for one of the top-five local newspapers in South Korea, The Kyeongin Ilbo, where she reported several exclusive stories regarding the misconduct of local government officials. She is currently focused on issues related to anti-fraud, as well as threats and crimes in cyberspace. She is a Korean native who is fluent in English and French, and she is interested in delivering the news to a global audience.