North Korea issue: MAF increases preparedness level, focuses on cybersecurity threats

North Korea issue: MAF increases preparedness level, focuses on cybersecurity threats

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has increased their preparedness level, by focusing on cybersecurity to ensure all government secrets are safe following the recent statement made by the Charge d’Affaires of the North Korean Embassy in Malaysia, Kim Yu Song.

Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang said this was because the country is not just facing physical threats, but also cybersecurity threats, which he assured everything is under control.

“First and foremost, MAF will ensure that the country is safe, we have also increased our level of preparedness on the cyber front,” he told reporters after officiating the 16th Mindanao International Monitoring Team (IMT-M16) at Wisma Perwira ATM here today.

He said the cybersecurity threat is now one of the main focuses of the MAF because today’s society relies heavily on cyber technology in their daily affairs, such as working, purchasing goods or making online payments.

Affendi said this in response to Kim’s statement last Sunday that Malaysia had to bear the consequences of its actions that led to the prosecution of a North Korean citizen.

All North Korean diplomatic staff and their dependents in Malaysia left for home on Sunday following Pyongyang’s decision on Friday to sever ties with Kuala Lumpur after a Malaysian court earlier this month ruled in favour of the extradition of a North Korean businessman to the United States to face money laundering charges.

On the same day, Wisma Putra, in a statement, said it deeply regretted North Korea’s decision and that, in turn, Malaysia will close its Pyongyang embassy, the operations of which were suspended in 2017.

Malaysia and North Korea established ties way back in 1973. The relations saw notable achievements on the diplomatic and trade fronts up to 2017, when Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the 16-member IMT-M16, led by Deputy Head of Mission Major Gen Datuk Hamdan Ismail, will leave for Mindanao, Philippines on Mar 26 to replace the IMT-M15 scheduled to return on Apr 10.

The deployment of the IMT-M16 for 12 months is to continue the tasks guided by the Terms of Reference for third party monitoring and overseeing the ceasefire process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). — Bernama