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'NKorea changes secret communication channels'

North Korea has changed its secret communication frequencies or encryption system to prevent spying by South Korea following the death of its leader Kim Jong-Il, a report said today.

world Updated: Dec 24, 2011 09:13 IST

North Korea has changed its secret communication frequencies or encryption system to prevent spying by South Korea following the death of its leader Kim Jong-Il, a report said on Saturday.

Seoul is struggling to gather intelligence following the changes, which came after the first order given by Kim's son and successor Jong-Un was apparently leaked to the South Korean media, according to the Dong-A Ilbo.

"It appears that the North Korean military is changing the frequency bandwidth or encryption system out of the fear that the South Korean military is wiretapping," the South Korean daily quoted a military intelligence source as saying.

North Korea announced on Monday that Kim Jong-Il had died of a heart attack two days earlier.

South Korean media have reported that Kim Jong-Un issued his first order shortly before the death was announced, instructing troops to halt field exercises and training and return to their bases.

The order is reported to have been issued in encrypted code by wireless frequencies to all troops, which the South's intelligence service decrypted.

South Korea's spy agency has come under fire for failing to learn about his demise before it was officially announced.

But President Lee Myung-Bak has defended his intelligence chief and rejected opposition calls for him to be sacked.