It happened again — a North Korean missile launch exploded in the air, over land, just a few minutes after launching on Friday.
While North Korea can still learn a lot from a failed missile test and use those lessons to advance their program, they’ve failed to demonstrate capability with missile types the US perfected in the 1970s — and cyber espionage may be to blame.
Asked about North Korea’s unsuccessful missile test by CBS’ John Dickerson on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, President Donald Trump refused to address whether or not the US had anything to do with the rogue nation’s missile failures.
“I’d rather not discuss it. But perhaps they’re just not very good missiles,” said Trump. Pressed further on possible US sabotage of North Korea’s missiles, Trump did not deny it. “I just don’t want to discuss it.”
Also of interest (from the same article):
Dr. Ken Geers, a cybersecurity expert for Comodo with experience in the NSA, told Business Insider that cyberoperations like the one against North Korea were actually the norm. [..]
North Korea’s internal networks are fiercely insulated and not connect to the larger internet, however, which poses a challenge for hackers in the US, but Geers said it’s “absolutely not the case” that computers need to connect to the internet to be hacked.
Furthermore, Geers said, because of the limited number of servers and access points to North Korea’s very restricted internet, “If it ever came to cyberwar between the US and North Korea, it would be an overwhelming victory for the West.”
“North Korea can do a Sony attack or attack the White House, but that’s cause that’s the nature of cyberspace,” Geers said. “But if war came, you’d see Cyber Command wipe out most other countries’ pretty quickly.”
A provocative comment by the POTUS on the Dear Leader:
Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational. He noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age.
“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age.
“I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational,” he said.
President Donald Trump labeled brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “a pretty smart cookie” in a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday.
“At a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I’m sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he’s a pretty smart cookie,” Trump told CBS News in an interview on “Face the Nation.”
And a policy twist of some consequence:
National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said Sunday that the U.S. will indeed pay for the roughly $1 billion THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, amid neighboring North Korea’s repeated ballistic test launches.
“What I told our South Korean counterpart is until any renegotiation, that the deals in place, we’ll adhere to our word,” McMaster told “Fox News Sunday.”
He spoke days after President Trump said South Korea should pay for the anti-missile system and hours after Seoul said that McMaster had assured its chief national security officer, Kim Kwan-jin, about the deal.