North Korean missile launch that failed shortly after it was fired may have been thwarted through an ingenious cyber counter-strategy from the US.
The medium-range missile exploded seconds after it was launched on Sunday 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,” the former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind told the BBC on Sunday.
In 2014, former US president Barack Obama ordered that efforts be stepped up to counter North Korea’s missile capabilities with cyber attacks and electronic warfare. North Korea has seen a significant increase in failed launches in the years since, though there has been no official claim of the programme’s success.
A US foreign policy adviser travelling with Mr Pence on Air Force Two said the test had come as no surprise.
“We had good intelligence before the launch and good intelligence after the launch,” the adviser told reporters on condition of anonymity.
“It’s a failed test. It follows another failed test. So really no need to reinforce their failure. We don’t need to expend any resources against that.”
North Korea warns US it is ready for nuclear attack
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill calling for the use of $14 billion seized from cartel drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to be used to pay for the President’s border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border,” Senator Cruz stated, according to a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from the senator’s office. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities.”
The Texas senator said that leveraging criminally forfeited assets from El Chapo and other Mexican cartel members and drug dealers can “offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.”
Senator Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act on Tuesday. “The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering,” Cruz stated.
President Trump announced via Twitter that he will be conducting a rally in Pennsylvania next Saturday during the Correspondent's Dinner. This looks like a good decision is light of recent reports that 89% of coverage of the President in the last 90 days has been aggressively negatove.
In addition to the president's absence from the correspondents dinner, no members of the White House staff are planning to attend the event either.