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Left of launch

While the president of the United States is busily focused on keeping the United States safe from Mexico (and from the former president of the United States), North Korea is busily focused on reminding the world how much they would love to bomb the United States to smithereens (or, at least, be able to).  Although the message of today’s missile launches was that North Korea can wipe out the US bases in Japan if it would like to (it’s South Korean reach is a given, of course), the implication is that it will be able to wipe out US bases in the US pretty soon (and, if they can get their nuclear weapons small enough, US cities as well).  The North Koreans (by which, I guess I mean Uncle Kim) hate it when the US and South Korea do their little war games twice a year and they usually find some way of expressing their displeasure.

A couple of New York Times reporters have recently shed light on what may be a US cyber response to the North Korean missile program.  The concept is called “left of launch” and refers to the ability to compromise the computer programming of the missiles (a la stuxnet) causing them to fail shortly after launch.  (The alternative defense is to try to shoot down the missile–right of launch).  It’s interesting stuff, to be sure.  I do rather wonder, though, how interested the military was in this information coming out and, what that says about its veracity.  I also find it curious that this came out just when three of the four missiles just launched seemed to fly just fine.  Maybe the fourth one caught the bug.  Perhaps this is all just a distraction while a right of launch system moves into place.  I hope that either the right or the left can deliver a consistent knock out.  I don’t think mean tweets are going to solve this one.


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