A former British foreign minister, Malcolm Rifkind said on Sunday (April 16) that US may have thwarted the missile launch of North Korea this weekend by cyber attack which took place at the birth anniversary of its national founder, Kim Il Sung.
The world was glued on Sunday morning as the repressive regime of Kim Jong Un was preparing for the medium-range missile test, a day after the annual show of force, paraded 56 missiles, 10 different models and rocket launchers occupied the streets of national capital, Pyongyang on the national holiday. The parade included Pukkuksong-1 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which the regime has been testing off its east coast.
However, seconds after the launch, the non-nuclear weapon exploded from a site near the port city of Sinpo, as Mike Pence, the US vice president, arrived in Seoul for talks with the South Korean government over how to deal with Pyongyang's belligerence.
“It could have failed because the system is not competent enough to make it work, but there is a very strong belief that the US — through cyber methods — has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail,” Rifkind told the BBC.
Many believe the U.S. has been interfering with North Korean missile tests since 2014, under an Obama policy referred to as “Left of Launch” which has probably been the reason behind increasing failed launches by North Korea, though there has been no official claim of the programme's success. That’s probably what Rifkind was alluding to. In 2014, former US president Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials that efforts be stepped up to counter North Korea's missile capabilities with cyber attacks and electronic warfare.
Interestingly, one North Korean newspaper hinted that a U.S. cyberattack may have indeed been responsible for the failure.
“Yesterday, [the U.S.] dared to play a ferocious game of Special Operation targeting our ultimate dignity,” read the news piece.
However, when asked during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Sen. John McCain cautiously dismissed the claim.
South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said analysts have not yet identified the type of missile that was launched, but is expected to be new generation of intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of striking the American mainland.
Cyber platform has grown to be far fierce battlefield than any actual battleground. That is where a lot of the wars of the future are going to be fought. President Trump is fully aware of the emerging importance of cyberwarfare. On the campaign trail, he pledged to unleash a fresh wave of spending in the cyber sphere.