‘Cy­ber­war launched against N. Korea 3 years ago’

New Straits Times - - World -

For­mer United States pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2014 launched a cy­ber­war against North Korea’s mis­sile pro­gramme, but it failed to make sig­nif­i­cant gains, The New York Times re­ported on Satur­day.

The US still can­not ef­fec­tively counter North Korea’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grammes, the news­pa­per said fol­low­ing a months-long in­ves­ti­ga­tion, based on in­ter­views with of­fi­cials in the Obama and Don­ald Trump ad­min­is­tra­tions, as well as “a re­view of ex­ten­sive but ob­scure pub­lic records”.

North Korea’s threats re­main so dan­ger­ous that when Obama left of­fice he warned Trump that this would likely be the most ur­gent prob­lem he’d face.

Three years ago, Obama or­dered the Pen­tagon to in­crease cy­ber and elec­tronic at­tacks against North Korea to try to sab­o­tage its mis­siles be­fore launch or just as they lift off.

The pro­gramme ap­peared to be suc­cess­ful, as sev­eral of the North’s rock­ets and mis­siles failed soon af­ter launch.

Ad­vo­cates of the US pro­gramme claimed suc­cess, be­liev­ing that they had de­layed for years North Korea’s abil­ity to mount a nu­clear weapon on an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (ICBM) and threaten a US city.

Scep­tics, how­ever, said the fail­ures could have re­sulted from shoddy man­u­fac­tur­ing, dis­grun­tled in­sid­ers and sim­ple in­com­pe­tence.

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