Bureau 121

Despite its poverty and isolation, North Korea has poured resources into a sophisticated cyber-warfare cell called Bureau 121.

Defectors from the North have said Bureau 121, staffed by some of the most talented computer experts in the insular state, is part of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, an elite spy agency run by the military. They have said it is involved in state-sponsored hacking, used by the Pyongyang government to spy on or sabotage its enemies.

Pyongyang has active cyber-warfare capabilities, military and software security experts have said. Much of it is targeted at the South, technically still in a state of war with North Korea. But Pyongyang has made no secret of its hatred of the United States, which was on the South’s side in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Erdogan’s Turkey is no friend of the West.

Last week, Pope Francis paid a visit to Turkey in what was seen as an attempt to align the Catholic church with moderate Muslims.

In a gesture of goodwill, Pope Francis visited the Blue Mosque, one of the masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, where he turned east toward Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul delivered an Islamic prayer. Continue reading