Freitag, 29. November 2019

North Koreans in India

A few days ago, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) complained that it had been hacked, presumably by the evil North Koreans. Other institutions in India also complained about similar attacks. It is possible that North Korea has been trying to gather some information on Indian nuclear technology in order to deal with its own energy problems.

That's a strange thing with India and North Korea ... It's not fair that ISRO should be targeted by Pyongyang! After all, both states cultivate the very best of cooperation - even in the field of space research! For example, there is - and the following is absolutely nothing new, but maybe one should be reminded on that - the CENTER FOR SPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (CSSTEAP), which advertises: "Affiliated to the United Nations". Therefore the CSSTEAP homepage shows - next to the flag of the United Nations - also the flag of the workers' paradise:



For example, for the Academic Year 2018/2019, this Indian institute, which is working on proliferation sensitive subjects, is promoting the presumably thrilling "23 Post Graduate Course in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System". And on the second page of the brochure you will find it:

I'm pretty sure to recognize a North Korean, happy with farm labour, on page 7 of this booklet. Since I'm not completely sure, I anonymise this person:


Isn't this a badge with the Dear Leader on his shirt?

The above mentioned Dr. Hong Yong Il seems to be omnipresent. For example, he appears in a 2011 brochure with a personal message:


You also find him in the current Governing Board of the CSSTEAP. After all, he exchanged his Yahoo email for a Google account:



In any case, both email addresses are showing interesting insights of the international research community. Also interesting is his fax/telephone number: Although Il sits officially in the North Korean Embassy in New Delhi, the local official numbers of the embassy has a different number sequence. 

In view of the "THIRD POST GRADUATE COURSE ON GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEMS", which is advertised for the Academic Year 2019/2019 and again together with 
Dr. Hong Yong Il, the cover of the brochure seems somehow cynical - should the North Koreans really have hacked the ISRO:



Officially and compared to other states, there are only a few North Koreans participating at the various courses offered by the CSSTEAP. Interestingly enough, the Global Navigation Satellite Systems Courses conducted by the Center does not provide any information about the participating states on the website. It is probably just a coincidence that just about this relevant course nothing seems to be published. 

A small statistic shows the official presence of North Koreans at this Indian research institute, which I compiled from the data, given by the CSSTEAP itself:



    Somehow I am suspicious about the research topics of the North Koreans and the other students:
  • These are mostly dual use topics
  • North Korea's good relations with individual states (you just have to look at the list of flags on the homepage of the CSSTEAP) provides good opportunities for a transfer of relevant knowledge
  • Could it be that India is no longer listing the presence of North Korean scientists?
  • It would not be the first time that North Koreans travel under, for example, Mongolian identity
  • The CSSTEAP is just one single institute in India. ISRO alone has 23 locations in India, all of which are divided into several institutes

Well, India is our friend, especially given the mighty neighbor China. Focusing on evil Pakistan is actually more sexy. After all, they (Khan etc.) have sold the North Koreans a lot of things that are causing problems today. But it should be asked since how many years an official from the North Korean embassy is sitting in CSSTEAP in India!? The research carried out there is in many ways extremely useful to the North Korean National Aerospace Development Administration. But this is on sanction lists. And also the North Korean military needs the technology for geolocation technology. 

After all, the students also have fun, for example, visiting nice Indian submarines.

And even for their new submarine the North Koreans need some "scientific exchange"...

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