Kim Jong-Un has a cyber-army of 6,000 hackers and may soon be able to attack the US with miniaturised nuclear warheads, say South Korea
- South Korea says Kim has twice as many hackers as previously thought
- Figure comes in wake of Sony hack and attack on South's nuclear plants
- Kim regime may also be able to hit U.S. with nukes thanks to new rockets
South Korea has accused Kim Jong-Un of using a 6,000-strong cyber army to launch attacks on its military and government, as well as targeting organisations overseas.
North Korea may now be able to hit the U.S. mainland with nuclear warheads thanks to advances in rocket technology and efforts to minimise the radioactive bombs, Seoul's defence ministry said.
The warning comes after days of rising tensions on the Korena peninsula after Kim said he was open to 'high level' talks with the South during his New Year speech.
Kim Jong-Un has twice the number of hackers as previously estimated, and may be able to hit the U.S. mainland with nuclear bombs thanks to advances in rocket technology, according to South Korea
The South's defence ministry said Kim Jong-Un was attempting to minituarise nuclear warheads so that they could be used in a possible strike against America (file image)
South Korean officials had previously estimated that North Korea had 3,000 hackers at its disposal, but in a report published today they doubled that number to 6,000.
The revised estimate comes after Kim's regime was blamed for hacking movie producer Sony Pictures in retaliation for making film The Interview, depicting the assassination of Kim Jong-Un.
In the days following the leaking of confidential Sony information, the South said it had foiled an attempt to hack its nuclear reactors, again blaming the attack on the North.
Last week South Korean IT experts said they had removed a 'worm' - a type of virus spread via email or file-sharing that is able to replicate itself - from one of their systems.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co said that a 'small amount' of non-critical data was stolen, but that no threat was found in the computer network controlling its reactors.
In his New Year address, Kim Jong-Un said he was willing to engage in talks with the South at the 'highest level', but only if conditions were met.
Among those conditions were agreements for the South to stop undermining his regime, and to cease all joint military exercises with the U.S. in the waters around North Korea.
The report is likely to raise tensions on the already fraught Korean peninsula, even after South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said she was open to 'high level' talks with the North
While South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has come out in favour of talks, she has refused to end the military drills, and this new report could scupper any hopes of restarting diplomacy.
South Korean campaigners are also trying their best to prevent any talks from taking place, launching balloons over the border carrying messages which are critical of Kim's leadership.
The letters were enough to derail the peace process last time, and prompted a short exchange of heavy machine gun fire as troops from the North attempted to shoot them down.
The North, which has described the activists as 'human scum', has repeatedly asked for the balloons to be banned. The South has refused, but urged protesters to 'show restraint' instead.
Fresh U.S. sanctions, which came into force at the start of the year following the Sony Pictures hack, have also meant that relations between the two Koreas have been strained.
While the asset freezes, which target 10 North Korean government officials and three organizations, will likely have little direct impact on the regime, they are a very public rebuke for an attack that the North has consistently denied.