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How North Korea recruits its army of young hackers – NBCNews.com

SEOUL, South Korea — Teenage math whiz Ri Jong Yol was a solid candidate to join Kim Jong Un’s army of elite hackers.

He had just won silver for the third year in a row at the world’s premier high school mathematics championship, the International Mathematical Olympiad, which was held in Hong Kong in 2016.

But the night before he was supposed to return to North Korea with his team, the 18-year-old walked off the campus of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and defected.




Image: South Korea Trains Student Hackers To Fight Kim Jong Un's Cyber Elite

Students participate in a cyber-defense programming class at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. They were practicing hacking each other as part of a government program to train them to battle Kim Jong Un’s techno-soldiers.