03/21/2013, 00.00
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Seoul says cyber-attack launched in China

South Korean officials say that huge cyber-attack against the country's banks and broadcasters was made by North Korean hackers using IP addresses based in China. Meanwhile, Pyongyang repeats threats against US bases in Guam and Japan.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The great cyber-attack on South Korean banks and broadcasters came from an internet address in China, South Korean communication officials said, with North Korean hackers as the likely originators. As a result, a number of South Korean banks were forced to shut down their operations to check for damages.  

"Unidentified hackers used a Chinese IP address to contact servers of the six affected organisations and plant the malware which attacked their computers," said Park Jae-moon of South Korea's communications regulator.

The attack is part of Pyongyang's way to stand up to pressure from the rest of the world. In fact, after North Korea conducted a nuclear test in February, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously, China included, for greater economic sanctions. The North reacted by threatening a direct attack against the United States.

North Korea renewed those threats today with a possible strike at US military bases in Japan and Guam. Indeed, in its usually bellicose manner, a spokesman for North Korea' supreme army command identified its would-be target.

"The US should not forget that the Andersen base . . . as well as naval bases at Japan's main island and Okinawa, are all within the range of our precision target assets," he said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News.

Pyongyang blamed the United States and South Korea for the rising tensions, with the recent US-South Korean joint military exercises as the cause, claiming their goal is to destroy North Korea.

Despite North Korean threats, the joint UD-South Korean war games 'Key Resolve' ended successfully yesterday.

General James Thurman, the commander of US forces in South Korea said the drill was fundamental to "demonstrate our commitment to the alliance and enhance our ability to respond to any potential contingency that could arise".


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