Seoul and Beijing must cooperate
Korea and China are beefing up joint efforts to investigate a supposed anti-nuclear group’s hacking of the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP) following the leak of blueprints of its nuclear reactors. The government’s joint investigation team Wednesday called for China’s cooperation in finding the identity of the offenders after announcing that the hackers used Chinese Internet servers for their attacks. Beijing reacted to the request in a positive way.
Regarding the hack, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China hopes Korea will join a united front with countries around the world, saying that China opposes all types of hacking and will reinforce constructive dialogue and cooperation with other nations to resolve the issues on a global scale. She underscored a need for cooperation among related law enforcement authorities to confront criminal groups in cyberspace. We hope China fully cooperates in an international campaign to root out cybercrimes.
Given the harsh reality in which we have to deal - North Korea armed with reportedly more than 6,000 cyberwarriors - South Korea urgently needs China’s cooperation. North Korea has been repeatedly singled out as the perpetrator behind large-scale cyberattacks against South Korea and the United States, using China as an outpost or a detour route for its attacks, as seen in the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the Blue House, the Ministry of National Defense and the White House in July 2009 as well as the critical shutdown of the Internet sites of our major news outlets and financial institutions in 2013.
When it comes to investigations of cybercrimes, speed is key. Therefore, pan-government support by Seoul and Beijing is needed as well as streamlined cooperation between law enforcement agencies from both countries.
The U.S. government’s request for support from China and Russia after the hacking of Sony Pictures explicitly shows the growing importance of multinational cooperation on the issue. Considering the secrecy of the Internet and the difficulties in probing and preventing cybercrimes, authorities can hardly expect to bring those involved to justice. It is worthwhile for Seoul and Washington - two victims of cyberattacks allegedly by North Korea - to establish a tripartite cooperation platform with Beijing to effectively cope with the increasing risk of cybercrimes by the North. The government can take the initiative in building trilateral cooperation on a permanent basis.
JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 26, Page 34