(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

North Korea launches another test missile off Japan's coast: report

The North Korean regime appears to be celebrating "Victory Day" by testing missiles, to neighbors' worries


Matthew Sheffield
July 28, 2017 4:16PM (UTC)

North Korea launched a missile that landed just off the coast of Japan, the country's prime minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday morning local time.

According to local media reports, Abe has called an emergency meeting of the country's National Security Council to discuss the situation.

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Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the country "absolutely cannot tolerate" such violations of international law from North Korea.

The U.S. Defense Department confirmed that it had detected a large missile launch from within North Korea.

The missile test by the isolated nation came just one day after the 64th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

Intelligence officials in both the U.S. and South Korea have predicted that North Korea might launch a missile to mark the occasion. Earlier this month, the country had conducted its first long-distance missile test.

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, has come under increasing international pressure as he has accelerated his efforts to develop nuclear weapons. In the face of stepped up economic sanctions and tougher rhetoric from China, the country's only ally, North Korea has turned to computer hacking to raise revenue for itself, a South Korean government agency said in a report.

Previous North Korean efforts seem to have been motivated by a desire to steal government secrets or to cause chaos in other countries but now, Kim appears to be directing his country's cyber criminals to turn their efforts toward ransomware, viruses which hijack computers and demand money to release them, and attempts to steal money from banks electronically.

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According to the South's Financial Security Institute, North Korea is linked to a hacking group called Lazurus which has been linked to the theft of $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh and a hack of Sony.

North Koreans have also been accused of utilizing the WannaCry ransomware virus which has been infecting computers running outdated versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system. The country has also been accused of being behind attacks on Polish banks as well.

 


Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Icbm Japan Kim Jong-un Missiles North Korea Nuclear Weapons




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