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Did the U.S. sabotage N. Korean missile launch?

Why is North Korea itching for a fight?

(NationalSentinel) Defense: In an attempt to bolster it’s supposed “first strike” capability, North Korean attempted another missile launch yesterday, but this one, like others before it, did not go so well.

According to various reports, the launch “did not go off well,” leaving some to speculate that, amid rising belligerence from Pyongyang, perhaps the U.S. military might have had something to do with that.

According to U.S. Pacific Command, the missile was being launched in the direction of Japan, exploding shortly after liftoff:

“U.S. Pacific Command detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch attempt… in the vicinity of Kalma,” Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, said in a statement.

“A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch,” Benham said, adding that work was being carried out on a more detailed assessment.

As note earlier this month by Zero Hedge, the Obama administration was infiltrating North Korea’s cyber networks for years, working to sabotage missile launches, among other military efforts:

Long before Kim Jong-Un launched his latest ballistic missile test in February, prompting an angry response from not only the US, Japan and various other countries, most notably China, which banned North Korean coal imports in retaliation and unleashed what may be a political crisis in Pyongyang, former president Barack Obama was already engaged in a cyberwar with North Korea. 

According to the NYT, three years ago Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber-strikes against North Korea’s missile program in order to sabotage missile test launches in their opening seconds. That explains why shortly after various North Korean launches, a large number of the country’s military rockets began to explode, veer off course, disintegrate in midair and plunge into the sea, as detailed here on various occasions.

While advocates of such efforts believe that targeted attacks have given American antimissile defenses a new edge and delayed by several years the day when North Korea will be able to threaten American cities with nuclear weapons launched atop intercontinental ballistic missiles, other experts have grown increasingly skeptical of the new approach, arguing that manufacturing errors, disgruntled insiders and sheer incompetence can also send missiles awry. In other words, something is causing the crashes, but US cyberspies is just one of the possible factors.

Granted, there is reason to believe that the North’s missile manufacturing capacity may very well be flawed, given the dearth of resources the country maintains – but it’s just not possible to know that for sure, given the secretive nature of the regime.

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That said, the danger posed by North Korea was so great Obama warned incoming President Donald J. Trump about it as he left office, according to The New York Times:

Those threats are far more resilient than many experts thought, The New York Times’s reporting found, “and pose such a danger that Mr. Obama, as he left office, warned President Trump that they would likely be the most urgent problem he would confront.”

So, if the reports are accurate, disrupting an adversary’s missile launches – which the U.S. Cyber Command is extremely capable of doing – sets up another dilemma: Some experts argue that a country’s nuclear weapons systems should be off-limits, even a bothersome belligerent nation like North Korea, because if the U.S. uses cyber attacks to sabotage Pyongyang’s missile launches, China and Russia may consider doing the same to U.S. missile systems ahead of a pre-emptive first strike.

It’s an issue worth careful consideration.

Meantime, Trump seems to have taken Obama seriously on the issue. Sending an aircraft carrier group into waters near North Korea and tweeting out recently “It won’t happen!” in response to the North’s development of an ICBM, could mean the president is ready and willing to use force to settle the North Korean issue once and for all.

Zero Hedge added this caveat, too: The last time global debt was as high as it is, there was a world war (both World War I and II were during periods of high global debt).

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