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North Korea Incorporates AI Technology into Nuclear Program, Reveals Report

TechNorth Korea Incorporates AI Technology into Nuclear Program, Reveals Report
North Korea has been developing artificial intelligence across various sectors, including in military technology and programs that safeguard nuclear reactors, which could create international threats, according to a new report.

The Rising Integration of AI in North Korea

The authoritarian regime has been rapidly developing artificial intelligence for both civilian and military uses. The country’s commitment to bolster its digital economy has been underscored by constitutional amendments fostering the digitization and informatization of its socialist economy, coupled with institutional reforms.

The Evolution of AI in North Korea

North Korea has been developing AI across industries since the 1990s but significantly escalated advancements beginning in 2013. This was evident when it created the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute to promote the integration of technologies into the social system and digitalization of the country. The country also amended its constitution in April 2019, adding “informatization” to its core economic efforts.

Potential Risks and Concerns

The recent endeavors in AI and machine learning development signify a strategic investment to better comprehend operational environments against potential adversaries. Furthermore, North Korea’s ongoing collaborations with foreign scholars pose concerns for the sanctions regime, as academic collaborations about artificial intelligence pose risks for foreign scholars to unintentionally disclose military information, particularly at international conferences.

Implications of AI in North Korea's Nuclear Program

North Korean researchers have published studies about using AI to maintain nuclear reactors’ safety, aimed at mitigating the risk of nuclear accidents and making reactors more effective. The integration of AI into programs that safeguard nuclear reactors is a matter of concern, as it could potentially lead to sanction violations and leaked information, according to the report.
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North Korea’s advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly in the military and nuclear sectors, are a cause for global concern. The country’s rapid development and integration of AI across various industries pose potential risks and security threats on an international scale. It is imperative for the international community to closely monitor North Korea’s AI advancements and ensure that the technology is used for peaceful and productive purposes rather than for creating international threats.
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