October 21, 2015 12:41
North Korea operates lucrative gambling websites that target mainly South Koreans, the National Intelligence Service here believes.
The National Intelligence Service told a National Assembly audit on Tuesday that around 1,100 North Korean computer experts operate from China, Malaysia and other Asian countries, each generating around US$20,000 in gambling proceeds on average.
That is seven times what the average North Korean worker earns in a year.
The NIS said North Korean gambling websites target South Koreans in particular. One online sports betting website generated around W4 billion in profits on the first half of this year, according to the NIS (US$1=W1,133).
The spy agency said North Korea also earns hard currency by selling online gaming items like magical weapons. They install cheat programs or hacking software and then sell on their undeserved perks to gamers.
The NIS estimates the illegal online gambling and item-selling market at W34 trillion worldwide and suspects huge amounts of that flow into North Korea.
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