SOUTH Korea fears Kim Jong-un may order a devastating electromagnetic pulse attack aimed at destroying the country’s financial infrastructure.
It is also worried North Korea may even target an EMP strike on its nuclear power stations, airlines and government ministries.
The country has been the target of successful North Korean hacking attacks in the past and there are now growing concerns the nation’s financial institutions will be the next target.
An EMP attack – either sparked by a nuclear blast or a pulse weapon – would quickly bring the South’s financial institutions to their knees.
Now the national banks are looking into establishing data centres overseas, The Korea Herald reported.
Others are looking to build reinforced repositories designed to withstand the blast of a powerful EMP weapon.
Electronic equipment exposed to an electromagnetic pulse can experience damaging current and voltage surges, while data stored electronically can be corrupted.
“Current regulations prohibit the transfer of client information overseas, so we are discussing ways to revise those rules so we can set up data back-up centres abroad”, a financial official told the newspaper.
The banks are acting after the government warned North Korea is “highly likely” to carry out additional military provocations in the coming weeks.
After a series of nuclear tests and missiles launches, Pyongyang has been subjected to increasingly stringent sanctions imposed by the international community.
Kim’s regime continues to defy the rest of the world and insists that it will continue to develop and deploy weapons capable of reaching targets anywhere in the United States.
Kang Kyung-wha, the South Korean foreign minister, said intelligence agencies are anticipating some sort of action by Pyongyang on or around October 10, the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.
Another date that is being monitored is October 18, when the Communist Party of China is scheduled to open its 19th National Congress.