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North Korea’s Chemical and Cyber Weapons Are Already a Threat

Forget North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal. Its Chemical and Cyber Weapons Are Already a Threat. Patrick M. Cronin National Interest May 25, 2017 “….To be clear, nuclear weapons are a real and gathering danger, and frequent test launches by the Korean People’s Army suggest steady progress toward deploying long-range nuclear missiles. Yet there is considerable experience and success in deterring nuclear arsenals. The same cannot be said for biochemical and cyber weapons…….

North Korea expanding cybercrime and cyberwar capabilities.

No one can be sure yet who was responsible for the recent wave of ransomware attacks, but certainly North Korea has both the means and the motive for undertaking such action. Some suspect that North Korean sleeper cells of digital soldiers may have carried out the worldwide assault to strike back at outside powers, including China, while also seeking to finance expensive weapons programs. Authentication will take time, but there seems to be a connection between the so-called Lazarus hacking group and the remarkably successful 2016 cyber heist of the central bank in Bangladesh and the 2014 assault on Sony Corporation. North Korea’s special Unit 180 may be linked to these information warfare activities……

Pyongyang likes to rattle the nuclear saber but remains ready to use biochemical and cyber weapons. Nuclear weapons are useful insurance policies against intervention, but their use would be suicidal. The more surreptitious use of biochemical and cyber weapons, however, risks creating a grave new world by seeking to strike below the threshold of nuclear deterrence and catalyzing war.

The hopeful news is that leading officials in Seoul and Washington understand the stakes and the need to work together to preserve deterrence in the face of emerging threats. Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently stated that using force to settle the North Korea problem by would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.” And President Moon Jae-in’s new national security advisor, Chung Eui-yong, has emphasized that “there is ample room for the U.S. and South Korea to calibrate and plan their joint engagement with the North.”……Dr. Patrick M. Cronin directs the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC; his Twitter handle is @PMCroninCNAS.   http://nationalinterest.org/feature/forget-north-koreas-nuclear-arsenal-its-chemical-cyber-20846

 

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May 27, 2017 - Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war

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