The cyber threat environment and military strategy framed above indicate that companies in several major economic sectors should increase monitoring of North Korean cyber activity. Financial services firms must remain constantly vigilant to exploitation of their SWIFT connections and credentials, possible destructive malware attacks and DDoS, and threats to customer accounts and data. Companies in the government contracting and defense sectors, especially companies that support the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployment as well as . or South Korean operations on peninsula, should be aware of the heightened threat environment to their networks and operations on the Korean peninsula.
The end of Japanese rule following World War II (1939–1945) marked the beginning of a peculiar era for Korean history that continues today. In 1945, upon the surrender of the Japanese armed forces, Korea was partitioned into northern and southern halves along the 38th parallel, governed respectively by the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviets endorsed a group of former guerrilla fighters as national leaders. This included a thirty-two-year-old legendary anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter, Kim Il Sung. Kim Il Sung's advantage over other patriots was that he was never apprehended by the Japanese colonial authorities; the consistency of his track record authenticated his quality as a national leader.
Second, new tools that do not focus on Pyongyang and territorial North Korea are needed to achieve a lasting negative impact on the current Kim regime . We have identified other nations with which the West could partner and alternate tools and techniques that could be utilized to apply asymmetric pressure on North Korea. Partnering with nations such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia, or others identified above, would enable the . and other Western nations to circumvent uncooperative partners in China and Russia and exert pressure on the broad North Korean operational diaspora, which, because of the regime’s dependency, would likely impose larger real costs on leadership.