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Cyber war capability stretches N Korea reach beyond missiles

Country has added elite hackers to its list of asymmetric weapons in recent years, augmenting its standing abroad

Seoul

NORTH Korea's alleged ability to hack into Sony Pictures Entertainment is extending Kim Jong Un's reach far beyond the range of his missiles.

While North Korea has kept Western defence officials guessing for years about a nuclear programme that it may or may not ever use, the regime's ability to wage cyber war adds a new dimension to its standing abroad.

"There is this image that North Korea never carries through on its threats," said Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow on North-east Asia at the Heritage Foundation in Washington and former deputy division chief for Korea at the Central Intelligence Agency. "But it sometimes does carry through. You can't always dismiss North Korea threats...

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