Trump Faced With Decisions on Inherited Cyberwar Against North Korea’s Missiles

Many Skeptical Obama-Ordered Program Actually Working

The annual late-winter escalation of tensions between the US and North Korea has President Trump asked to make early decisions on his Korean Peninsula policy, in particular on a cyberwar inherited from the Obama Administration, and intended to sabotage North Korea’s missile program.

The program was initiated by President Obama three years ago, and officials say that since then a “large number” of North Korea’s test launches have failed, either veering dramatically off course or crashing into the sea. This is being taken by some officials are proof the plan is working.

Experts aren’t so sure, however, saying that the failure could just as easily be explained by manufacturing problems and “sheer incompetence,” along with a lot of disillusioned North Koreans working on the program not putting in their best efforts.

With growing recognition that the expensive missile defense systems don’t work, and doubts about whether the cyberwar is doing anything to enhance the problems North Korea is having with advancing the program, Trump is faced with calls to do “something” about North Korea, which would either involve something novel, like negotiations to reduce tensions, or the more straightforward choice of doubling down on the cyberwar, and just crossing his fingers that it works.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.