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`NK wiretapping S.Korean communications in frontline areas`

`NK wiretapping S.Korean communications in frontline areas`

Posted November. 16, 2012 01:59,   


The 4th Corps of the North Korean People`s Army, which shelled South Korea’s frontline island of Yeonpyeong in 2010, is known to have wiretapped mobile communication in South Korean areas up to 140 kilometers south of the Demilitarized Zone.

According to a South Korean Marines document obtained exclusively by The Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday, the North`s military is operating wiretapping stations through the 4th Corps, targeting the South’s northwestern frontline islands.

“The North’s 4th Corps is capable of wiretapping telecommunication in areas up to 140 kilometers south (of the border),” said the South’s Marine Corps, adding that Pyongyang is believed to be wiretapping most wireless communications in the northwestern islands, Gimpo and Ganghwa areas (west of Seoul).

The 4th Corps is in charge of defending the southwestern coastal area of North Korea, including Hwanghae Province and the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas. In November last year, then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and heir apparent Kim Jong Un visited the unit.

The South Korean Marines said the northwestern island areas are vulnerable to the North’s wiretapping because the area depends heavily on wireless communication networks. Because of the difficulty in installing fixed line communication networks in the island areas, which lack natural hurdles in communication, the North can wiretap the South Korean military’s communication via the P-96K radio communication system, which is mainly used by units the size of a company or smaller.

A commander of the South Korean Marines also told his units that the North is operating dozens of wiretapping units, saying, “The North Korean military is presumed to be capable of wiretapping our radio and mobile phone communications.”

Ordering his troops not to use personal mobile phones to discuss military operations and training, he also told them to ensure that they use encrypted communication devices.

Experts warn that North Korea can wiretap South Korean mobile phone communications if it has relevant devices installed on base stations for mobile telecommunication networks.