Cyberwarfare in the Korean Peninsula: Asymmetries and Strategic Responses



August 2014


East Asia Journal


Nir Kshetri


In the paper it is argued that the two Koreas’ intentions and actions on the cyber front point toward the possibility that they have engaged in cyber warfare against each other. From South Korea’s standpoint, a key concern has been North Korea’s advanced cyber warfare capabilities and alleged involvement of its substantial workforce in the Internet’s dark side activities. These issues need to be looked at the backdrop of the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. This paper draws principally upon theories and concepts from military strategy and warfare to examine the contexts, mechanisms, and processes associated with the cyber warfare in the Korean peninsula and compares the two Koreas in terms of various forms of asymmetries in cyber warfare and cyber attacks. Also highlighted in the paper are South Korea’s recent initiatives and actions to enhance cyber-offense and cyber-defense capabilities.