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N. Korea's Elites Shop On Amazon & Alibaba: Reading Between N. Korean Lines Updated: 2021-02-24 14:04:01 KST

North Korea's political and military elites have unlimited access to the Internet, and shop online just like you and I from Amazon and Alibaba.
That's according to Recorded Future, a U.S.-based cybersecurity company which explains that a limited number of the regime's leaders and ruling elites have full access to the Internet and are actively engaged in popular social media including Facebook and Instagram.

Meanwhile, vice chairman of the U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staffs says it is North Korea, not China, Russia nor Iran that poses the most immediate threat to the United States.

All things North Korea. Let's go in-depth on Reading Between North Korean Lines with Dr. Go Myong-hyun.

Let's begin with this latest remarks by John Hyten, vice chairman of the U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staffs. He pinpointed North Korea as posing an immediate threat to the U.S. and not China, Russia, or even Iran adding his missile defense capability is clearly focused on North Korea right now.
North Korea has remained relatively low-key in terms of major provocations recently.
What does this statement say about the Biden administration's North Korea policy? Between the need to develop next generation missile defense system against possible threats and denuclearization?

A leaked report on North Korean sanctions by a UN Security Council committee reportedly states that Kim Jong-un's regime and Tehran are working together again, to develop long range ballistic missiles.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken stressed yet again Washington's commitment to denuclearize North Korea saying the administration will consider "what can be effective in terms of increasing pressure on North Korea to come to the negotiating table, as well as what other diplomatic initiatives may be possible." What could he mean by this?

The Biden administration is considering re-entering the Iran nuclear deal.
Will relations between Iran and the U.S. affect Washington's approach to North Korea, as well? How so?

Meanwhile, as we mentioned at the top of the broadcast, Priscilla Moriuchi, a senior analyst at a U.S.-based cyber security company told a German weekly that internet usage in North Korea surged a whopping 3-hundred percent in the last three years.
She said North Korea has been utilizing the internet as one of its main source to secure funds and information for the Kim Jong-un regime. No longer a surprise. We've previously dealt with how North Korean hackers stole billions in cyber currency and even attempted at Covid vaccine makers.
How realistic is the North Korea's initiative to gain financial profits and substantial supplies from these cyberattacks?

Will the internet remain as and develop into one of North Korea's main strategy in securing funds and information?

Speaking of Covid vaccines, COVAX announced plans for the first round of vaccine deliveries which will be taking place in March, with some early shipments in late February to countries that have already fulfilled the criteria. South Korea is one of them.
When is North Korea receiving its vaccines from COVAX? What are some of these criteria that need to be met before a state can get its vaccines through the COVAX facility?

Meanwhile, North Korea's official newspaper called for greater efforts for a self-reliant economy without outside help.
This as the World Food Programme announced earlier this week that it could suspend its operations in North Korea due to import restrictions caused by heavy border controls since the covid-19 outbreak.
What does it say about the current situation in North Korea in achieving key goals with supplies shortages amid the pandemic?

Dr. Go Myong-hyun, our very own Senior North Korea analyst on News In-Depth, many thanks as always for your insights. We appreciate it.
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