NK-cyber attack

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Friday accused its enemies of launching cyber attacks against its Internet servers as the communist country threatens all-out war in response to ongoing South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises.

The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) monitored in Seoul said in a commentary that Internet servers operated by the state have come under intensive and persistent cyber attacks. The media outlet did not go into details, but suggested that the attacks have been happening for several days.

It said that Pyongyang is being targeted for cyber attacks by its enemies in retaliation of its firm stance against aggressive actions, vowing to confront any provocation head-on.

The commentary added that the cyber attacks are of significance because they are taking place while the United States and South Korea are conducting massive military exercises.

"We will not remain passive to the cyber attacks carried out by our enemies that have reached grave levels and are part of a larger plan to stifle the DPRK," the KCNA report said. The DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

South Korea and the United States kicked off their annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military drills in earnest this week. The two allies have repeatedly said the exercises are designed to repel attacks from the North, but Pyongyang has claimed they are a dress rehearsal to invade the communist country.

In response, the North in the past week unilaterally nullified the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War (1950-53) and declared it will not honor non-aggression pacts signed between the two Koreas.

Meanwhile, the report of a cyber attack was first reported on Wednesday when a Russian news wire service said access to the Internet in North Korea was blocked and that official sources believed the country may have come under a powerful cyber attack.

In the past, North Korea has been accused of carrying out cyber attacks against various websites in South Korea and the United States, but this is the first time the isolationist country has blamed foreign powers for attacking its servers.

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