North Korea hits out at Japan as cyber arms race heats up

North Korea has condemned plans by the Japanese military to develop a counter-attack computer virus as symptomatic of Tokyo’s “war hysteria”, with an analyst warning the move could fuel a cyber arms race. 

The Japanese government announced this month that it is planning to create malware designed to break into an enemy’s computer systems and cripple its military forces’ ability to communicate and launch attacks against Japan. 

Tokyo has emphasised that the new cyber weapon, to be developed by private companies, will be solely for defence and not be used in a pre-emptive attack. 

Sensing that the malware is being created with North Korea in mind, state media this week said the plan is “nothing but a dangerous project of a war-thirsty state and aggression-minded nation”. 

The Korea Central News Agency said Japan is becoming “more undisguised in its war hysteria with every passing day” and, pointing to Japan’s invasion of a number of Asian countries in the early decades of the last century, claimed that Tokyo is planning “overseas expansion” and another “war of aggression”. 

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