Obama hit North Korea’s nuclear program with cyber attacks – Mashable

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South Koreans watching a television news broadcast at a station in Seoul, South Korea.

Image: kim HEE-CHUL/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Former President Barack Obama wasn’t impressed by the United States’ missile defense systems. They constantly missed incoming blasts in practice, to say nothing of how they might fare in the face of an actual assault. 

Obama was thinking about North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, who’s often going on about developing a nuclear warhead that can be fired atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. If this ever happened, U.S. defenses may well not be able to stop it. So, according to a Saturday report by The New York Times, Obama ramped up American cyber-attacks on North Korean computer networks.

About three years ago, North Korean missiles sputtered during launch attempts. Some unraveled just after takeoff. The switch in tactics may have added years before North Korean nuclear weapons will have range enough to reach the U.S. But the report also reminds us that North Korea has recently launched several successful missile tests, and says that though the cyber attacks seem to have been effective, they are ultimately just a stalling tactic. The North Korean government appears to be marching toward its goal of nuclear weapons, slowly or otherwise. 

According to the Times, Obama told Trump that North Korea may pose the single biggest challenge to his administration, and that may have to do with the limited range of defense mechanisms the White House will have at its disposal. 

Trump could try to beef up what Obama has done already, meaning greater and more ferocious cyber assaults. He could launch airstrikes against North Korean nuclear facilities, though it’s far from certain  such an assault would destroy all that it needs to in order to erase the country’s nuclear capabilities. He could try talking with North Korea about maybe not continuing to develop nuclear weapons while saber-rattling in the direction of the U.S. He could perhaps speak with the Chinese government about telling their much smaller neighbors, “hey, stop this, or we will not trade with you.” But Trump’s railed against China since the beginning of his campaign, and he’s so far been short (and even bullying) toward foreign government officials from Australia to Mexico. 

North Korea has a habit of leading several news cycles per year in the United States, and 2017 should be no exception, especially since Kim is reportedly at least highly suspicious of U.S. efforts to mess with his country’s missile launches. He ordered an investigation into the matter toward the end of last year and, coincidentally or not, recently had several security officials executed by anti-aircraft weapons

Original Article and Images from Mashable

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