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Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

North Korea’s pro­tracted pol­icy of nu­clear bel­liger­ence to­ward the United States has reached a long-feared tip­ping point. De­spite a dili­gent cam­paign of sab­o­tage and de­fen­sive saber-rat­tling by the Obama and now Trump ad­min­is­tra­tions, Py­ongyang has suc­cess­fully tested an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile.

The trou­ble is that so few op­tions for ac­tion ex­ist, and those there are have sharply lim­ited ap­peal.

That’s why at­ten­tion should turn, if it has not turned al­ready, to Amer­ica’s lim­ited but po­ten­tially de­ci­sive asym­met­ric cy­ber op­er­a­tions ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Ef­forts in this area have al­ready proven their worth in slow­ing down the North’s march to nu­clear in­tim­i­da­tion or worse.

Although not a sil­ver bul­let, crash­ing North Korea’s elec­tri­cal grid—re­peat­edly, if nec­es­sary—has the strong po­ten­tial to force a coup, crip­ple the army, fore­stall fur­ther nu­clear progress or drive the regime to sue for peace. This is a bet­ter op­tion than the oth­ers the pres­i­dent has to choose from.

The Amer­i­can peo­ple ex­pect the White House to meet the Korean cri­sis force­fully yet pru­dently—and suc­cess­fully. Af­ter so much trou­ble with cy­ber con­flict, the United States should turn the ta­bles for a win.

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